September 16, 2013

Still Learning As I Go

Well I finally hopped back on the horse! And by that I mean I finally started running again. I don't know why I didn't just say that...

And by 'I finally started running again' I really mean that I ran three times this week... haha. I have such a skewed definition!

REGARDLESS - here is my recap of the week. I decided to run after work on Tuesday since it was only about 70 degrees, but sunny with 64% humidity, and 11mph winds. I don't really know what got into me, if it was taking the last week off from running to completely heal my legs or what, but it was a great run! I ran all 4 miles nonstop (which I know to 99% of people sounds silly to be excited about)!

I'll explain why I'm so excited. All of August was pretty much one poo-poo run after the other, almost zero enjoyment (other than GTIS Half) and lots of walking, little running. Since I started running in 2010, I can count on one hand how many times I've run 4 miles nonstop. Sure, three miles I could do without much issue, but for some reason I never pushed over that and would walk/run anything farther than three. Every race I trained for consisted of the walk/run method because I didn't push myself hard enough and just didn't believe I could do it.

So back to that Tuesday run. Instead of planning on running 4 miles, I told myself I would run for 45 minutes (secretly hoping that would get me 4 miles anyway). I wasn't feeling great that first mile, as many runners can sympathize. The first mile is the hardest to convince yourself to keep going. I ran my usual route, which means the first half of the run is a gradual uphill almost the whole way. After I hit that one mile in 11:38 (UM that's FLYING for me haha), I convinced myself to run the next mile. That if I made it to mile two, I could have a walk break. I shuffled the second mile in 12:35 (the second mile is where 90% of the uphill takes place). I got to the turn around point where my watch blinked that I was 23 minutes in, paused for the briefest second, and told myself I would run the rest of the way home. Just make it to mile three. I ran the third mile in 12:20, and by then I felt so invigorated with myself that I ran back to the neighborhood, noticed how close I was to hitting 4 miles and just ran up and down the street until that ticker rolled over. Got the fourth mile in 12:21. At least I'm consistent!

I did a little jig in the middle of the road, that's how thrilled I was. My total time was 48 minutes and change. A slow go, but I did not stop. I would have been faster had it not been for the mini celebration after each mile and my constant air drumming (I can hear my crossfit coach saying 'If you can air drum, you aren't working hard enough', haha). I would air drum, then get winded and tell myself to knock it off and save that energy! I'm only a little ridiculous. But I was having fun!! FINALLY!

I actually felt pretty good after that run, not sore at all. I think my excitement took over any other feeling. So Wednesday after work, I was ready to try this whole running nonstop thing again. Now I knew I was capable of running the four, it was time to shoot for five. Well, not really. I was planning to run an hour nonstop, with enough time to hurry and shower before my PT appointment that evening.

I set out with a long sleeve and long capris on because it looked like rain could be rolling in. I cruised through the first mile in 11:59, slowed down for the second mile in 12:40 (really struggled a little to convince myself to keep moving). I got hot with the long sleeve on, but about 5 minutes later, go figure, it started raining. Just a little at first...kind of refreshing. I hit the turn around at about 2.5 and started my downhill run. I got the third mile done in 12:51, the fourth done in 12:32, and then it started POURING rain.

But I was SO close to running 5 nonstop! I could do it! There wasn't any lightning, so if I could just will myself on, I could get five and head home to dry off. I had to tack on a little extra to my normal route to get the five miles, so I took a different road into the neighborhood and just trotted up the street and back til I perfectly hit five miles. I could have cried with excitement. I have NEVER run that far nonstop. I was so proud of myself. I got the fifth mile done in 12:29,total run time of 1:02, knee pain and all. That last mile felt like I was dragging my leg behind me, but I knew I was seeing the PT a little later and he could fix it all.

I barely had time to dry off and change before heading to the miracle worker. He did his magic, and then we chatted about how maybe I should start going in every week until my race to stay on top of everything instead of playing catch up.

I took Thursday off thanks to the crazy rain and flooding and set myself up to run for 3.5 hours on Saturday. I only ended up running 3:10 because I thought I was running late for a thing with a friend, and honestly, my body felt pretty banged up anyway. I barely ate half a larabar, and set out for the day. I ran my normal weekday route on the way out, with an extra extension up the road before heading down the long stretch of road towards my gym. A couple miles out, I ran into my two lady friends who were running to the gym for the Saturday morning workout. We ran together for most of the remaining distance to the gym, at a faster clip than I can handle, but I enjoyed the company. I had a potty break and adjusted my water bottles for the second half of my run from the gym back through everything reverse. By the time I left the gym, I had already eaten the only two gels I brought with me and broke into a granola bar I had for back up. I was starving. I also made the mistake of putting an electrolyte tablet into my water bottle and it was just way too strong. It gave me major tummy aches.

The break down was as follows:

Mile 1: hurting, not convinced that this is actually going to happen, decided to do a walking warmup - 16:25
Mile 2: Had my pity party and decided to get over it. - 14:10
Mile 3: 13:23
Mile 4: 13:05
Mile 5: 12:00 (when I ran into the girls)
Mile 6: 12:31
Mile 7: 14:52 (starting the long gradual uphill, tummy aching)
Mile 8: 14:02
Mile 9: 15:11 (things are slowly starting to fall apart)
Mile 10: 15:49
Mile 11: 15:45
Mile 12: 17:33 (reeeallly bad aches)
Mile 13: 18:30 (walked home)

So the problems were not enough nutrition before or during, it was hot as balls and super humid (88% humidity), and I was wearing my Kinvaras (more minimal than what I usually long run - muscles not used to that sh$t). I was able to keep to my walk/run ratio until about mile 9. Then I tried to go by what my stomach could handle, but things definitely fell apart. And my legs are still hurting me from the switch in shoes. I can be so smart sometimes!

Anyway, I will be ready to go for a run on Tuesday for four miles, hopefully I can get the hour and fifteen minute run in on Wednesday before I head to Breck for a conference, try to run an hour and fifty out in Breck on Thursday, and then 4:45 Saturday and 1.5 hours on Sunday.

I'm staying optimistic!

**Also, I need to mention that I tried sports tape on my knee for the long run on Saturday, thinking there's no way this stuff works but LET ME TELL YOU! I really think it does work!!! That, or my PT did his usual and fixed the problems from Wednesday, haha.**

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