March 20, 2012

The Whole Enchilada

Rock'n'Roll USA Half Marathon is now behind me.

THANK GOD.



On the metro before the race

So my hip issue flared up on the metro before the race, so I was consumed with worry over how it would feel for 26.2 miles. I met up at gear check with Helen, Genny, and Jake and we shared a few minutes before splitting off to our separate corrals. The gun went off and we staggered across the start line in waves. About 25 min after the official start, my corral finally began to run. I got swept up in speed (something I'm usually very careful about). About a half mile into the race, I started to realize that this day would be about 13.1 and not 26.2. The 13.1 even seemed too far for my lower legs. I cried, walked a loooong time, told myself to suck it up and trudged on with eventual running (at a decent clip I might add). My hip didn't bother me nearly as much as my calves did...more than just shin pain. Such is my life I guess.


Soooo thrilled.



Usually I remember a good bit about races, but I think I mentally blocked out a lot of the morning since it just wasn't that enjoyable. The water stops seemed a little unprepared, a good bit of the bands seemed to be taking a break when I ran past (kinda ruins the whole point of a RnR race don't you think?) Jake and the girls caught up to me (they were 10 corrals behind me :/ ) and I felt sooo hot the entire run. And the gatorade tasted funky. Needless to say, when I got to the split off for the half and the full, I evaluated how I was feeling and decided that I could suffer through more miles, but might find myself stranded in Anacostia...so I finished with the half. If I had my metro card with me, I probably would have toughed it out a little longer and metroed back to the start. Oh well.

Good things: so great seeing Helen, Jake, and Genny out there in action. Proud of them, and proud of Genny for finishing her first half marathon!!! I love that I have such good friends I can share these experiences with. And I got a tan (weird one, but a tan is a tan)! Every time I run a race is better than a time that I'm jsut out on a training run. I love seeing everyone else out there putting in the effort to accomplish their goals. It's inspiring. Other great part of the race: random house handing out a small bit of beer in a cup. I swear it lifted my energy and spirit. Also, good seeing an LSU house with a familiar face!

But...I'm glad it's over and I can focus on recovering and training for June 2. This week I will hit the gym for non-running cardio and weights ...probably do this all week until I leave for Dubai on FRIDAY!!! If I feel slightly better, I might head to Difficult Run on Wednesday for a group trail run. Those might have to wait until I get back from vacation though. I'm redoing my current schedule so I can ease back into the mileage without causing myself more damage.

My coworker/running friend shared a link about ultra running: http://vanessaruns.com/2012/03/15/7-deadly-lies-you-believe-about-ultrarunning/

I love this: "Many newbies don’t have any support at all. Never expect to go into your first ultra with the full support of all your non-running friend and family. Do you know when people start believing in you? When you prove yourself. When you finish. When you find success. So don’t sit around whining about how nobody supports you. Of course they don’t, and why should they? You haven’t done a damn thing. Your ultra is just crazy talk. Know your potential and go after it with all your strength. When you believe in yourself and prove your ability to finish, others will start believing in you as well.

...

When you run an ultra, you are out on those trails by yourself. You’re facing your demons alone on a terrain that is foreign. There are no motivational signs to lift your spirits. There are no cheering fans to scream your name. But that finish is unlike anything else. It’s yours and yours alone. Nobody can know what it took for you to get there, and nobody can share in your glory. That finish line is where you first realize that you can do anything. If it’s a nod from society you’re looking for, run a marathon. But if it’s a life-changing experience of personal strength and perseverance that you want, finish an ultra.

Ultras are hard for everyone. Ultras are just plain hard. Everyone struggles up that hill. Everyone has trouble breathing. Everyone feels the hot sun. Everyone is sweating. Everyone wants to sit down. Trails can’t tell whether you’re an elite or a newbie. They’ll kick your ass just the same. So you belong here just as much as I do. And I belong here just as much as the dude who wins first place."


AMEN.

Check out the blog list that I have on here of the ones I read, there are some great new ones I found!

A friend of mine posted this today so I gave the advice a shot: http://running.competitor.com/2011/08/injuries/the-10-best-mobility-exercises-for-runners_36329/1


It goes along with a ton of trigger point info I learned (and apparently forgot) a whiiiile back ago at a free DCCS seminar. I have icy hot patches on there since the entire calf area hurts on both legs, seemed easier than lathering the bottom part of both of my legs. I've been using the stick to roll it out, but it hasn't seemed to make much difference.

I *KNOW* I don't have proper foot strike...I'm working on it. But in order to be able to correct that, I need to not be in severe pain when I run (or even fast walk) like I am currently.

I'm really hoping that this website's tricks help me out!

3 days til Dubai.


***almost forgot, another friend showed me bodyrock.tv, definitely going to get into those when I get back from my trip!***

March 14, 2012

No Longer Treading in Place

Ever get your car stuck in the mud, or in snow so badly that the tires keep turning over...using so much effort, but there's no forward movement? And all you end up with is your car still stuck, feeling flustered, frustrated and teary eyed (at least I do...), feeling a little hopeless and like there's not much else you can do but get out of the car and push til you're clear of the obstacle.

Yeah.

That's exactly how I felt. For the past few weeks anyway...


I have a few issues I'm dealing with, and some issues I've been more (probably too much) vocal about...my 'running' injuries. I don't think they are from running per se, but they have been impacting my ability to train as of lately and have been a constant topic racing through my mind.

Originally, I was going to vent on here. But that won't fix anything, will it? I think I've been wallowing in my injuries long enough. Maybe I no longer feel like complaining because I finally feel like the tide is turning and I can jump ease back into my training!

I *think* I took the week of Feb 20th off...I don't really remember. The following week I tried to run but ended up walking most of my miles, determined to get them covered somehow. As Dean would say, 'Run when you can, walk if have to, crawl if you must...just never give up.'

I couldn't run, but I could walk.

On March 3rd, I was feeling adventurous enough to go back out to Rosaryville for what was supposed to be a 18-22 mile run on a trail. Rosaryville brings up a lot of mixed emotions. Fear of failure, a little anxiety, excitement, a strange comfort I feel when I'm on a trail. It's the second trail I've ever been on. It's where I humbled myself by dropping out of the 50K. It's where I think I really started to fall in love with R.

I went out there alone...with my new sportivas, and I crammed in the car my brooks cascadias 6 (which I hate) and my road brooks juuuust in case the sportivas sucked. I was a little surprised to see how many bikers there were,, but I am actually glad they were there. When I move to CO, I want to get a bike. I don't think I'm ready for mountain biking just yet, but I would like one. It was a group that seemed to have two advanced riders, and a slew of beginners. And a gorgeous golden retreiver that just followed the advanced guys all day on the trail. I want one of those too. I got a head start on the trail before the bikers inevitably caught up to me. We played rabbit for a little while but I was glad to have 'company' and exchange pleasantries here and there.

In the beginning I look kinda like I'm enjoying myself. Then the need to #2 sank in. I wouldn't have minded peeling off the trail and just getting it done, but all those bikers were there, so my only option was to just suck it up. If you've run long enough, you've most likely encountered this problem before. It. Is. A. Problem. For sure. It's bearable if you walk...mostly unbearable if you run. I ran walked anyway, feeling more beat than usual.

Creepy barn.

One of my favorite trails because it's so nicely groomed (probably not the right word). There were a few mud pockets...


...but the sportivas handled the trail like a champ. I didn't trip at all! That's pretty impressive for the super clumsy me.


My pedicure held up. Woot woot.

It was a long day, but I still love the trail for being soooo easy to follow and not get lost, as well as the clear path. I'll definitely be back.

During the past week, I walked some miles again, and then at my parents' house I got on the treadmill...pushed it to the highest incline and walked for an hour. I did that twice.

Today I will go out for a bit and see what I can manage, if anything, with running...run/walk combo. If I can't run, I'll walk the miles and then hit up the gym for some other cardio. Bikini time is fast approaching...t minus 11 days!

Then the half (or full? hehe) marathon is this Saturday. That should be a good time with my best friends, and then some festivities after :) Then more running/walking on Sunday to get me back on track!

I'm kinda excited to get this race out of the way so I can focus all of my energy on getting across that 50 mile finish line on June 2.

***ADDITION***
So I wrote the entirety of the post above over the past few days and then failed to actually ever post in. A-Duh. Go me.

Yesterday I walked about five miles.

Today I ran/walked 10.5 miles and it felt SOOOO good to get out there moving faster than a snail and sweating out all that bad juju.

Not to mention, the race is Saturday, and then I LEAVE FOR VACATION/SEE MY MAN IN 9 DAAAAYS!!!

WHOOP WHOOP.

Time for bed.

March 01, 2012

At Odds With Training Plans

I love using iRunFar.com as a great ultrarunning resource, or for trail running info...pretty much anything running related. The creator is a beast and has many accomplishments in the running world. I went to Barnes & Noble the other day seeking ANYTHING ultrarunning related (other than Dean's books, which I love reading)...searching for some sort of guide to help me along. I found Relentless Forward Progress (such a great name for an ultrarunning guide), by the creator of iRunFar, Byron Powell. I've been flipping through the book the past few days since I've been out of commission running wise thanks to a random 'injury', and I've been picking up great tips and need to know things.

One of the chapters in the book is dedicated to training plans, and it's broken down by how far your race is, and how many miles a week you would like to put in. My Santa Claritas plan has me ramping up to an eventual 60 miles in a week, with five days of running, two of them being back to back long runs. The book follows a close schedule as far as the five day running, back to backs (there's an option for four days of running), but it gives an option of 40 miles total a week, 50, or 70. Now, we all know 70 is not happening. And I feel like 40 is too close to what I do in marathon training, so 50 seems like the logical choice. I compared my current plan with that in the book, and I think overall, I would be happier and less injury prone with the book's plan.


I still need to tweak the miles to free up Helen's wedding and the days I'll be traveling to/from Alabama and Dubai. Othwerwise, this is my new thang! I conveniently keep forgetting about the EX2 Off Road Half Marathon I signed up for on May 19. I'll figure out a way to run an extra 5 miles.

I gotta say, I'm already super excited to taper...even though it's still about 11 weeks away.

Also, I returned the Montrail Bajadas due to fit, and ordered La Sportiva Crosslite 2.0 from Backcountry.com on sale. Woot. Hope these fit.


They have good reviews and seem to be a good combo for the terrain I will be running on, since from this weekend on I hope to get each Saturday run out on a trail.

I'm pretty sure I would benefit from not being able to online shop for running things, because I end up wanting all kinds of stuff...

Like these compression socks from CEP:

http://www.cepcompression.com/running-socks.php

I would also like some Dirty Girl Gaiters to keep the dirt and rocks out of my shoes while trail running:
http://www.dirtygirlgaiters.com/index.html

I also want the Gym Girl Ultra skirt from Skirt Sports (medium!). They have shorts underneath to prevent chafing!:

http://www.skirtsports.com/shop/product.cfm/id/1017-Gym-Girl-Ultra-Skirt

Or the Women's Might Power Skort from Mountain Hardwear:


I still want a whole slew of other things, like that Beast Mode shirt or the one by the same company that the words appear once you sweat!

I would also love anything from http://www.relaxreflect.com/.

Siiiigh. When I'm a billionaire.

Back to real life: On Tuesday I FINALLY ran for the first time in over a week. Woo. A whopping 5.5 miles, haha. I was scheduled for 7 but figured pushing it on my first day back when I'm still not fully recovered...didn't sound like a great idea. I've come to realize now that the beginning of my runs suck. About halfway through or close to the end I finally get in a groove and then I realize I need to stop. It's a bummer for the short runs but I guess it's good news for my longer runs. Today I will go run for maybe 6 or 7 in the GORGEOUS weather. Then Saturday will be 5, and Sunday claims to have 22.

We. Shall. See.