Thursday, June 30, 2011

breakthrough?? maybe...

i don't know if it was a breakthrough, but i'm calling it close at least. the run on schedule today - 12 miles at M+30. it was a tad bit cooler than tuesday, but let's face it, it's warm no matter what. every day in the summer is a struggle.

the last few weeks, i have had some problems maintaining my M+30 pace for the whole run. in fact, i would downright fall apart in the latter miles. i had decided that i would start a bit slower for the first mile or two, then try to get on pace, and slow down in the last mile or two if needed. today, after about 2 miles, i got on pace and stayed there. james had told me it's those middle miles that mean the most, so i really worked to stay on track from 3 until at least 9 or 10. but once i got close to the end, i didn't want to let up. i knew i'd get tired, so i would tell myself, when you get to 10, you can ease up. i got to 10, and i decided to wait until 11. i got to 11, and i said, well i'm this close. i got tired in that last mile or so, but i pushed on through. before i knew it, i was back at my house.

the temperature might have been a little cooler than tuesday, but it's still super humid and warm. i was soaking wet, with not a dry spot on me from head to toe. i always suffer through the summer, and having a great run has almost been impossible for me. to the point of not wanting to run. after my run today, that motivation was back up high, as if i had done an awesome speed or tempo session. it wasn't a fast run, but it was a strong, solid run in never easy conditions. and it was 12 miles.

tonight, i'm relaxing and enjoying my success from this morning. (i should be doing school work) i'm also thinking that i trust my coach. trust his judgement on every aspect of my training. and today, the pieces for the summer started really falling into place. a breakthrough? yes!

Monday, June 27, 2011

i played the lottery and won

what did i win? a spot in the 2012 houston marathon.

on june 1, registration opened for the marathon and half marathon. terri and i immediately threw down our credit cards and got our name in the pot. we've been talking about houston like it was a given, but in all reality, it wasn't. so when this registration closed last thursday and the word went out that everyone would know by monday, i got anxious and excited. i checked my email and bank account all weekend long, waiting. i felt like i was waiting to hear news on the scale of a new job or something. instead, i was waiting to hear if i get in a 26.2 mile run where it will take me 4 hours and cause me pain. ha!

sunday, terri, me and the mauls lounged at the pool, and i constantly checked my email. nothing. sunday night, working on a final exam for school, nothing. laying in bed trying to sleep, nothing. this morning, i woke up to go teach my spin class, and like i always do, i peer at my phone with one eye barely open. i saw an email. i opened it. and there it was, my receipt for the registration fee. i knew terri would be asleep, so i refrained from texting her at 5:15 a.m. to tell her to check her email immediately. i made it through spin class, and finally felt like 7 a.m. was ok to text her. she texted back about an hour later with one word, IN.

terri and i have been excited about this race for one main reason, the olympic marathon trials. what a great opportunity to see some of our best marathon runners at one venue. i was able to see the 2004 trials in birmingham, and i was thrilled at the thought of seeing them again. the thing that made us nervous was that one of us would get in and the other wouldn't. no one likes traveling to these things alone. so we were relieved and excited all at once. i did the half at this race in 2005, and it is still my PR in the half. that's not saying much because i've only done 3 official halves. i know it's a well done race, so i'm looking forward to an opportunity to PR again there.

this race isn't until january 15, so before i can get to houston, i have to go through tupelo.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

the week of friends

as i posted a few days ago, this has been my recovery week. my main running partner and friend, terri, was in honduras for a mission trip, so i was left to my own to get in my miles. it ended up working out that i was able to run with a variety of friends, some new and some old.

tuesday was an 8 miler, and as i was sitting in my super long monday night class, i was starting to think i was going to be on my own for that one. no bigs. good, faithful and oldest running partner, vicki, texted me saying she wanted to run. two things i'm happy about - 1. vicki has text now and 2. she wanted to run the next morning. after getting out of class at 10:20, i was not excited about waking up at 4:30 to run at 5. she ran 5 of my 8 with me, and it was a nice recovery run. we were able to catch up and the miles just flew by.

because monday was such a late night, i was pretty tired tuesday and even wednesday. thursday, my run was only 4 miles so i opted for sleeping in and hitting the treadmill after work. enter second friend run. a new, but now very close, friend from work is getting back into running, so i coerced her into hitting the treadmill with me. she and i were both going for 4 miles, and she did amazing. for just starting back, she was able to run the whole 4 miles with only a couple of short walks. her success made my run so much more fun.

thursday's run was only 4 miles because, enter friend 3, an old running partner who moved to fayetteville about 4 years ago was passing through town and wanted to run. she and i planned to do 4 easy just to catch up and since it was my recovery week, the timing couldn't have been better. vicki joined us as well, and we had so much fun.

saturday was another easy 8, and jenny maul (from hello jenny) was going to run with me and vicki for part of it. as jenny and i were about to head out, jen torres (from the running artist) came running up and ended up going the 8 with us. jenny and jen had never met, so it was even more fun as they are both artists! we had such a nice visit and a great run on top of it. before we knew it, the 8 miles had clicked by and we were done.

friends are what make running so much more fun. recovery week was successful because i recovered and had great runs. i feel good and ready to resume my build for tupelo (10 weeks by the way). recovery week was also not just successful, but fun. i enjoyed the company of some great people that i don't always get to spend time with. that's what it's all about sometimes. thanks vicki, ashley, jenny and jen for a great week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

recovery week

this week is coming at a good time. right after a tough week. and right on time. i get to sleep a little more, run a little less, but eat a little healthier. i have no trouble taking rest days or recovery days, especially when i'm tired. i don't get antsy. i don't get annoyed. i get rested.

this week, 8 is the magic number. 8 tomorrow, 8 between thursday and friday and 8 saturday, all at recovery pace. i will also get to enjoy friday with an old running friend who is passing through town, which is running at its best. running with friends is one of my top reasons to run.

recovery weeks are not just for the body, they are also for the mind. i have instructions this week to take care of my body - get extra rest, maintain a good diet, run less miles, etc. while my body is resting a little, so will my mind. there will be no thinking about maintaining a pace or not being able to. the fewer miles will allow for more sleep, more rest for the brain along with the body.

they say, and by they, i mean everyone who knows anything about training, that recovery and rest is as important as the actually training miles. rest is part of training. the body needs it. the mind needs it. and i'm excited about it. here's to recovery week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

hot spots, heat and horse flies - 11 weeks til tupelo

my build for tupelo continues. i've long been a fan of the high miles, and this week we started inching up there. since the snickers marathon in albany, i've done no more than 10-12 for my long runs, mostly 10's, with anything up to 8 during the week, even with speed work. i have 11 weeks until tupelo, plenty of time to ramp it up. along with the miles, this week was complete with heat, hot spots and horse flies.

this week started with 8 on tuesday at marathon pace plus 30 seconds. if you aren't up at 5 a.m., then you probably don't know that it's hot at that time of the morning. one trade off with running so early is you trade in the temps from the sun for thicker humidity. there is absolutely no movement in the air that time of the day, but you don't have the sun beating down on you. it's really a no win situation because whenever you run this time of the year, it's hot. the first 5 mile loop was ok tuesday. i held the pace i needed to, but after the short water stop, the run went south. holding the pace was a major effort.

thursday was a 10 miler. we would do two 5 mile loops. same story, different day, however, i think we felt worse on thursday. we were close to the pace on the first 5, but on the second, we were beyond ready for it to be over. i haven't done this in a long time, but there were 3 short walk breaks. there you go, that's how difficult it became.

so i was a bit nervous heading into today's 14. the last two haven't been successful, and i really needed today to go well. it was 79 degrees at 5 a.m. that's amazing. i decided i would take the run slow at the start, ease into my pace. i did just that. after about 2 miles, i was on the target pace so all i needed to do was hang on for 12 more miles. after the third mile, my legs finally started to open up, and i began to gain a bit more confidence about the run, although keeping in mind the heat and rest of the run to come. we picked up a few friends for parts of the run, and some horse flies. it was that time of the morning when they were looking for someone or someones to pester. luckily they either found someone else to hang out with or gave up on us after a while. i felt strong and solid for most of the run, but in the last 2 miles i began to fade. i still held on to my pace and finished the run right on pace. it worked out that there was about .6 to walk to get back to the car. it was a great way to get a bit of recovery and rest before i piled up in the car to go home.

this week i battled heat, today the horse flies and all three days, hot spots. i need to buy stock in body glide. no matter how much or where all you put it, it's never enough. i have spots on my rib cage, my waist, my arm and my legs. i love the summer for all the fun things like tans, swimming, snow cones, but i despise it for chaffing, dehydrating, and my runs suffering. i'm longing for winter...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

tupelo build

my new blog background makes me think of my childhood and my grandmothers. they were very traditional and quilted and sewed and stuff like southern grandmothers do. that talent didn't make it passed my mom to me, but i am happy to enjoy the things they made. i have one of my grandmother's quilts and an afghan that my mom made me, and i plan to continue to pass those down in my family.

this has been a good week of training. i am starting my build for tupelo, and the summer is continuing its build too. i'm beginning to become a bit more acclimated to the temps, but it's a slow process. i ran 8 on tuesday and was supposed to do 10 on thursday, but the humidity and warmth got to me a little so i stopped at 8. i would rather do 8 and maintain my pace than push for that extra 2 miles and struggle. saturday was a 12 miler and again, i chose to stick with my run plan for that day, much to the delight of coach james. i maintained the scheduled pace throughout the run. as coach says, and i'm learning to say, today is not race day. i'm learning a lot about being smart with my training and what to do as well as what not to do.

i'm also learning that running alone is perfectly ok. just like anything else, habits develop, and this is something i'm developing again. there are times when my training schedule will be different than what my friends want to do, and i have to make sure i get my runs in. so when those moment arise, i go alone. mostly this is on sunday when i do my recovery runs, like this morning. recovery works work fyi, in case you aren't doing them. i usually start these runs feeling stiff and tired, but end them feeling a little more energetic and loose. they definitely have a purpose in a training week.

i finished this week with 34 miles and 2 spin classes. i'm really focusing on my running for the first time in years, meaning, i'm mostly just running and limiting other cardio or intense exercise. hopefully it will serve me well come september and january. this week will be a slight ramp in mileage, and i'm looking forward to it! i have a strange love affair with high miles.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

vacation and tupelo

the heat has taken the wind of my sail and put the block in my writing. it's hard to write about running when it's the same old story - it's hot. i will not dwell on the heat in this post, just like i'm not dwelling on the heat in my training.

since i last wrote, let's see, i've been running, went on a vacation and switched over to the dark side.

with the record temps these last few weeks, coach james has had me pull back a bit on my paces, including holding off on tempo runs for a while. we have had above average temps here lately and even at 5 a.m. it's tough. i have also started my build for tupelo. it's been a while since i've done more than 12 miles, and well, next week i will get to run 14 again. i have kinda missed it. i have a close relationship with a long run
the best part of my hiatus from blogging was my short vacation to the beau rivage. terri and i went down for 2 nights and 3 days of bliss. we ate, napped, sunned, napped, ate, sunned, watched movies, sunned, ate, napped, ate, napped, etc. you get the idea. it was a wonderful relaxing weekend full of my favorite indulgences. we spent two amazing days at the pool and got some good rest, and ended the trip with a amazing massage. i came back savagely tan, relaxed, and possibly 5 pounds heavier.

lastly, i switched over to the dark side. i am now all mac. i purchased a macbook pro, and just like i was one of those with the iphone, i am now one of those with a macbook. i'm in love. once you go mac, you never go back. it sure made my class today much more fun.