Friday, July 31, 2009

House of Pain

I ran a nice 14.8 miles today. Wait, back up. Let's tell the whole story. I ran my first 7.3 miles on the way to cross training. I had to hurry a little bit. Ran it in 1 hour 3 mins, so a pace of 8:41. Not bad considering mile 7 was all hill, up hill that is. I held a very relaxed 8:30 for the first 6 miles. Yeah, I tanked the last mile. But the point is that I ran even splits. What's that you want to see my splits? Well you can't I'm married. OK, don't beg it's a little pathetic.
1st mile - 8:20 (as usual I had to make myself slow down to hold this pace. I am such a 5K runner. 3.1 miles push hard over and done. What's not to love?)
2nd mile - 8:29
3rd mile - 8:34
4th mile - 8:30
5th mile - 8:31
6th mile - 8:33
7th mile - 9:30 (think hill...that's my excuse or that I haven't been logging the miles in to do better. Yeah I like the hill excuse better.)
last .30 - 9:07

Not my best pace, but my most even splits. This is big for me.

Then I had a nice (can I say nice to describe The House of Pain?)time cross-training. Does that make me a sick-o? Not in a leather and bull whip sort of way... In a "my muscles are breaking down and rebuilding in a beautiful new tone" sort of way. But I digress. The House of Pain is what we call my track coaches cross-training. Today was an hour of tri-ceps. Then ran the rack, which means I start with 25 lbs (Kim 'the rock' started with 30 lbs) and go until failure. After failure I move to the other arm and then down to the next weight, which is 20 lbs for me. I was able to do 25 reps of each until 10 lbs and 5 lbs then it was 50 reps (which is the stopping point because the next person is waiting). It was great! At the very end my coach (with a little gleam of evil in her eye) had us do "the ladder" of push-ups. How hard can that be, you wonder? Well, let me lay it on you. You start in plank and you stay in plank until it's your turn to do push-ups. When you are done with your push-ups you return to plank. We did 1-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-1. Which means the first person does 1 push-up, then the next person does 1 push-up and so on until you return to the first person. The first person then does 2 push-ups and then the next person does 2 and so on and so forth it goes. Remember you are supposed to be in plank when not actively doing your push-ups. If you drop out of plank you start over. (although she was nice and let us do downward facing dog if we couldn't hold plank) It was very hard to do and I had to revert to DFD for most of it. Oh well, there is always next time.

After the House of Pain , I had to run home. Literally. I ran to House of Pain from my house so I had to run home. Christina, aka 'coach,' or 'evil sadistic one,' and Kim said they would run 3 miles with me. Crap, there goes my easy slow run on the way home. Good-bye 9:30 pace….hello work my tush off and still trail behind pace. My splits:
Mile 1 - 8:42
Mile 2 - 8:10
Mile 3 - 8:43
Finally with the mutant running-robots gone I could tuck my tail and run slowly. They headed back for the rest of their easy run and I trudged forward for another slow mile at 9:19. Ugh! At this point I was so freaking thirsty I couldn’t even spit.

I think I’m a freak who drinks more than everyone else. I woke up and drank 10 oz of water. I was well-hydrated yesterday and I drank at least 9-16 oz glasses of water or Ultima. Sure I only peed 4 times yesterday, but I almost always pee only 4 times a day. Five or 6 if, and only if, I drink a lot of tea. What’s that? Stop taking about pee? Oh, OK.

Back to today. I then drank 2-8 oz of my accelerade and then 4-8oz of water during my cross training workout. Then 2 more 8 oz of water on the run back. When I finally dragged my slow, sorry butt home I drank 3-16 oz of Gatorade and 1-16 oz of Ultima. [warning: pee talk is about to resume. For those of you annoyed with the pee talk skip the rest of this paragraph.] I have been drinking water all day and yes, I have peed 2 times. Well, once before I left for my run and once about 2 hours ago. Uh, maybe a little thirsty you think?

(Welcome back, anti pee-talk people!) Back to the rest of my run. It sucked! I almost made hubby come pick me up. I had two asthma attacks and couldn’t (or didn’t want to) hold a decent pace. So I will not post the times, as I am ashamed. Not because of the pace, but because I had to hike some of it. At least I kept going, right? So my total for today is 14.80 miles. It felt good! Again, not in a leather and bull whip sort of way... well, maybe... a little...or so I’ve read.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How to run using your heart rate as a guide

Last night I was supposed to do a 5 mile easy run. But here is the catch. I was to keep my heart rate at 150 bpm. Sounded like a nice 10 min pace run to me. Nope I was forced to go slower than that.

I decided I would try a new trail by my house. Bad idea. A little piece of advise. If you are to do a run using your heart rate as your guide, don't pick a new trail FULL of hills. I had to walk some of the hills to keep my heart rate down. That was the hard part. I like to pick up the pace on hills, however, if you are trying to keep your heart rate at 150 you can NOT do anything buy walk the freakin' things.

My husband was nice enough to join me for the run. So at least I had some great company and good conversation. My hubby is also great for making me stick to exactly what my coach has put on my training schedule. Needless to say my coach loves it when hubby runs with me. It was more like a nice stroll for us and not so much a run. But you know what, I liked it. It reminded me what an easy run should feel like.

Now don't get me wrong, I had a hard time with my pace being slower. Since I can get a little obsessed about my pace (unless I'm running with some of my friends, then it's all about hanging out with them). Last night I made myself only look at my heart rate, because every time I looked at the pace I would try to pick it up. I didn't realize that I tend to push my pace too much on my easy recovery runs. I would assume that because I was running a 9 min pace that I was running an easy run. Well I guess not. Maybe I need to go by my heart rate more? Maybe then I wouldn't have been in an over training deficit for the last month or two?

All in all this was a great lesson to learn. Sometimes an 11 min -12 min pace is just what I needed. Who knew? What's that my coach? You mean I should listen to him? Well that's a novel idea. But come on...this is ME we are taking about. I always have to learn the hard way. Stop laughing at me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The price of cute shoes.....

I went to a friend's wedding yesterday. And if I might say so myself, I looked rather cute in my new dress and old cute shoes. Well, my feet are not used to high heels anymore. Needless to say both of my feet have lost a few layers of skin. See the above photo. So I may not be able to run tonight. But you know me, I'll do it anyway.

I am determined to throw out my 'cute shoes'. As I was about to do that, I saw new cute shoes in a store. Maybe I just had the wrong cute shoes. So now the hunt is one for cute dress shoes that don't make my skin peel off. Who say's you can't teach and old dog to buy new shoes?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cross training..the right way

I took Sunday and today off from running. I decided to cross train instead. Only I did it the right way.

The coach from my running group has been helping one of the other pace leaders do cross training. So along with the other pace leader, we did push-ups...from hell.., sit-ups that were evil, arm weights (one appropriately named skull crusher), and the craziest wheel barrel I've ever seen. It was fun. I can't wait until next Monday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today was supposed to be a 14 mile run. Instead because I am still healing, I ran only...ready...4 miles. But I enjoyed it. I was able to run with one of the other pace leaders that I don't get to run with enough. It was a very nice run, reminded me of why I enjoy running. Before the run I was able to walk a mile with my coach/friend. We drank coffee, he yelled at me for over training.....I yelled at him for having stress fractures and not being able to run with me.

After the run, I trained in my martial arts. It reminded me of how much fun training can be.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Trying to take it easy....

Yes, today I ran. Yes, today I ran slow. Yes, today's run hurt...slowly.

I had on my training plan to run 10 miles. I was good and decided if I need to cut it short I would. So I ran 8.66 miles. I had to walk the hills. But at least I was able to get a short run in. See I took it easy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Over training

Last night after track practice, I was depressed. Not because I ran slower than I wanted. But because I couldn't run. I am still hurting from Monday’s cross training. I’m in a funk. And I just figured out why. I’ve been hit with over training. My miles have been lower than in previous weeks, so why over training? Off to the great and expansive knowledge that is the web. Here is what I found:

Signs of over training:
1. Moody (I read as being a witch) OK, this is very common around my house once a month. You know what I mean. What, you can’t believe I’m blogging about mensuration? Oh, stick around honey, stick around.
2. Can’t sleep (Sleep what’s that?) This is more than my kids are waking me up kind of sleep. This is I wake up at 1-2am and can’t get back to sleep until 4 or 5am. This is very unlike me as I have been known to fall asleep in 2 seconds flat. No exaggerating here. Really, 2 seconds after saying something to my husband in a conversation I can be asleep. Impressive, huh?
3. Don’t feel energized.(read a lazy bastard) I am known for going all day 7 days a week at full speed. I don’t sit down and do nothing. Ever.
4. Stale training (yep)
5. Poor race performance see my last race post. 7:38 pace. Again I say what the hell? Now it makes sense. Even though I tapered for the race, it was not enough to recoup from the previous months of hard training.

This week I’ve been moody, irritable, ah hell just a plain witch!! I thought it was because I couldn’t run. Now I find out it’s because of running. That’s just wrong.

So information on how to correct it is scant. But here is what I have been able to find with my Scooby senses.

1. Take some time off from running. Sounds like common sense. But how much time is enough time?
2. Rest. Uh? That sounds like #1

That’s it. I can’t find much else. So how much time off? One day? Two? A week? A month? OK, I’m going to kabosh taking a month off, because I have worked too hard to take a whole month off.

Today is day 3 of no running. Yes, technically I ran a little last night. But I was jogging not running. And I was pushing the triple stroller so that makes it impossible to get a really good run. I ended up having my husband pace lead my group of guys. That‘s an improvement for me… to ask for help. Baby steps, baby steps.

I feel better today. Maybe just being able to identify what was wrong with me helped? Sure last night I woke up at 2:30 am thinking about my Saturday run and how I should run the 13 miles with my guys, but then I wouldn’t be done until 10:30-10:45. That’s over 2 hours of running but only a net gain of 13 miles. And I want to run with one of my friends at 7am to get some miles in with her at a little faster pace and just to chat with her. But then I’d have to bail out on my 13 mile run as a pace leader. But I also have a martial arts seminar this weekend that starts at 10am on Saturday and goes until 5pm. Then I’m cooking dinner for all the guys from the seminar... usually 20+ people. So I have to stop training a little sooner to get dinner started. Sunday I have training again from 10 am to 3pm and then a 7 mile run in the evening. Don’t even get me started on tomorrow.

So I go back to no running today and I might end up skipping my cross training of sit-ups, Pilates, push-ups, and bike ride. Maybe I won’t get my 10 mile run in tomorrow. Who knows. I guess the remedy is to take it day by day. Slowly. Let me try that again. S-L-O-W-L-Y. I’ve heard of that word. Slowing down, taking it easy (oh great, now I have that song stuck in my head). Maybe it’s time for me to give it a whirl?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


You know those professional athletes? They get massages at least 1-2 times a week. Well, on my beer budget that is not going to happen. But never fear I have the solution. Take your son and have him use your back and legs as roads. Done. 1 hour message and an occupied little boy. Now for a full body, include two giggly girls with cars or have one of them 'style' your hair. This involves a very nice relaxing 10 minutes of hair brushing. Or have the kids pretend to bake cakes. Give them the rolling pin and plastic cookie cutters. Have them 'roll' out your IT band. Get creative and save money. It's a great way to entertain the kids and help you relax. I did the car one today and became so relaxed I dosed off. (Don't worry CPS my youngest was safely in his crib taking a nap and all sharp objects where out of reach.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Am I really able to be coached?

Having a training program that doesn't have the runs I want in it drives me nuts. I think it has more to do with being told what I can and can not do. Stop looking at me like that. What? Are you surprised I don't like being told what to do? Well, I don't! I don't mind the hard work. In fact I love it. I like to be challenged, I just want to make the most of my running time. So sometimes getting in 6 runs a week is easily doable. And some weeks are so busy with other things I can only get in 4 days of running in. This is the dichotomy of having a balanced life. I have responsibilities to my marriage and kids that have to come before running. I could easily get too narrow minded in my training. Honestly I would work out 3 times a day, if it didn't affect my home life. A run in the morning, some cross training, and then another run in the evening would be perfect. What? I said stop looking at me like I have a problem.

I want to do the 10K timed trail this Thursday so I could give an accurate time for my Hood to Coast. But my training has me only cross training on Thursday. Friday I have a 10 mile run on schedule. Saturday only a 14 mile run, I'd rather get in an 18 mile run. Because I have a martial arts seminar this weekend. Sunday I am supposed to get in a 7 mile run. I'm going to be exhausted from my martial arts seminar this weekend and won't want to get a run in Sunday. I know I will hate it and no have fun. What bugs me is I told my coach my schedule.

So is it that he ignored or maybe forgot my schedule? Or is it that I hate being told what to do?

Cross training

I ventured out and tried a program called Cross Fit. It involved a lot of squats and pull-ups. I enjoyed varying my current cross training, but I over did it. This is not going to surprise anyone who knows me. But now I am mad at myself for affecting my current training.

Today I did 300 sit-ups, but had to skip my push-ups. I did jump on my bike and get 10 miles (in 30 minutes). That did help loosen up my poor legs. I don't think Cross Fit is going to be for me. I think I would do better seeing my old Pilates instructor and work my core more. Since I think the squats would end up making my current medical issues worse. And a stronger core would help my medical issues. So maybe I need to find that money to see my Pilates instructor?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hill Repeats

Hubby and I ran 6 miles together. A nice relaxing 6 miles at 8:46 avg pace. We talked and just had a nice run. Then after our 6 we did hill repeats. We found the best hill we could find and ran 1/8 mile repeats. I was scheduled for 8 and hubby ran 4 with me (he ran his much faster than I did). The hill started at 22 ft and rose to 154 ft at our 1/8 mile mark. I held a pretty steady pace. 1:09-1:07-1:08-1:06-1:05-1:08-1:14 and the last at 1:15. My endurance is finally improving. Hence being able to hold the pace a little better and even drop the times a little. The last two repeats were hard and I felt like I was crawling. So a total of 7 miles to start my week off. A nice start.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I read this article in another blog about fast holes and slow holes. The premise of the article was that some people think that running fast and improving your times are all that matter in running. On the flip side, there are people who think every run should be relaxed and not taxing.
I have friends of all abilities that I run with. And being fast is all relative. To some of my friends I am fast and it intimidates them to run with me. But why? I get so much out of my runs with them.
1. I get to relax and enjoy great conversations.
2. I still get to log the miles.
3. It’s my therapy time. I work through so much on a run with my friends.
4. I get to hang out with friends and deepen a current friendship. Or develop a new friendship.
5. I might get to help pace them. Maybe they want me to help push their pace. This tickles me to pieces. I love trying to help others in anyway I can. (Well I love helping friends out, not just anyone.)
6. Maybe I’m using them to pace me. Sometimes I need someone slower to make me take an easy run. I have a tendency to push myself too hard. Running with someone with a more relaxed pace makes me run an easy run. Otherwise I think I would be injured more than I already am. ;)
7. I am guaranteed to get my scheduled runs in if I have a friend waiting for me. Then I can’t slack on the miles I’m supposed to get in. Because if I shorten the run I’d be affecting someone else’s running. It keeps me from being lazy.
However, I do understand the being “intimidated” aspect. I have a friend that I highly respect and admire. She is training for the Portland Marathon. (In which I think she has an excellent chance of winning) She offered to do a 20 mile run with me. I immediately made excuses about how she would kill me if I ran with her. Or about how I’d hate to slow her down that much. I just figured she was being nice to offer to run with me. But why? Maybe she wants a slower run. Maybe she wants an excuse to run slower? Maybe she just wants to help me out with my running? I now feel bad for insulting her offer. She’s a very sweet person and extremely knowledgeable. I would learn so much running with her and maybe develop a friendship. At the very least I’d get my first 20 miler in. So maybe I should take her offer at face value. Since I want my friends to take my offers to run. Maybe she just wants company on such a long run. I know I do.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Listening to your body

Today I had a 12 mile run scheduled. My friend was supposed to meet me at 7:00am to run 6 miles with me. By 7:13 she called saying that she needed to get gas and that she would catch up with me. So off for a quick 4 miles. As I started out I could tell right away.... it was not going to be a quick 4 miles. My foot hurt, my IT band hurt, my hip hurt, heck my brain even hurt. So I decided I'd try to make it a relaxed 4 miles. Problem is I couldn't settle into a pace. Mile 1 -8:37, in which it hurt to hold. Fine. Mile 2 -8:43. Time to throw in the towel and re-evaluate my miles and pace today. Mile 3- 9:00 and my friend caught up to me. So the talking commenced. Mile 4-8:32. I felt a little pressure and relief to be running with her again so the pace was easily picked up. The wonderful part about running with a friend who is faster than you and has fresh legs. You feel like you should hold the pace and you get so lost in conversation you forget about the pace....for a little bit. But today I couldn't or didn't want to push through my mental block.

So now it's time to pace lead. Although I'm not sure I pace lead anyone. My legs felt heavy and I just didn't want to run 8 more miles. Did I mention my foot hurt? So I was smart and listened to my body and only ran 4 more miles. It is hard for me to let go of a 12 mile run.

Tonight I am looking forward to meeting my Hood to Coast team. I know some of them. But as my team captain said, get to know them before you smell them. Should be fun beers, food, and running friends. What's not to love?

Friday run with 3x1200

Today was a tough workout scheduled. 1 mile warm up 3x1200 at 6:30 pace with a mile in between each 1200 and a mile cool down. At a 6:30 pace I would run each 100 in 24 seconds, I tried my hardest and could only really hold 25 on my 100's for the first 1200 which resulted in a 6:40 pace. The next one I could barely hold a 6:48 pace and the last was a 6:52 pace. Overall not bad. I was consistent with the pace on the 100 splits. Holding 25-28's. This has been the most consistent on pace so far. But holly cow was the last 1200 hard. I was proud of myself because I could not have run any faster. I had my heart rate at 188 at the end of each 1200. So I know I worked hard.

Here's the mental part. My friend who has taken me under his wing in coaching me, was a really fast runner in high school and college. I didn't even know how fast he was until I googled his record after running with him for 4 months. He'd say things like 'I used to be fast when I was in college' but it was always so nonchalant and only when I'd ask him how fast he used to be. But he would never give me times. So here is what I found out: He ran a 3:50 in the mile. That is 3 mins and 50 seconds......for a mile. That is freakin' fast. No that is record setting fast.

Well it seems to me he has too high of expectations of me. I was happy with what I ran today, but he seemed a little disappointed. All I can do is the best I can do. I know my weakness is the distance. I can't hold a fast pace for any real length of time. I'm trying to look the rest of this year as base building. My husband asked if maybe my friend was setting the bar too high and placing unrealistic expectations on me. Why didn't he set the 1200 pace at 6:50 or even 6:45 so that I would hold a steady pace the hold time? I don't know, that is a great question. Is it to push me to try for the 6:30 with no preconception? Or is it to set me up for failure so I will push harder to obtain the 6:30?

All I know was that I promised I would stick to the training program he set for me to a Tee for a full month. He previously set a training schedule and I tried to follow it, but began to get too impatient in wanting more miles. Well I guess it's not always about more miles per week, but better paced miles.

I guess I need to ruminate on my coach and running tomorrow on my little 12 mile run.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The start of trail of miles and miles of trails.

This will be my attempt at blogging about my running.

A little background. I am a 32 year old mother to four children. Twin girls that are 4 years old, a feisty 2 year old boy, and a roly poly 1 year old boy. Having that many kids that fast changes your body for life. When I was pregnant with my twins I was over 260lbs. I am 5 feet 6 inches tall. I started running almost 1 year ago this month. I am now 139lbs and run about 35-45 miles a week.

Let's go back to my first race. July 12, 2008; ah, it was a hot and sticky day. I packed up all the kids and dragged my husband with me to my first 5K. I thought I was hot stuff. I had just run a full 3 miles straight the week before. I was going to rock that race! Needless to say, I finished with a 12:04 pace. I was passed by not one, but two 6 year olds. I was pissed, but I thought it would not be good form to trip the little bastards. I almost gave up, but someone gave me a little encouragement. A few women came over to me afterwards and said I did great. (what race were they watching?) I told them I was so demoralized because I was passed by little kids. This sweet lady said "Hell, you did more by 6am this morning getting your kids ready then she does all day. Give yourself a break" That helped. I vowed I would get faster.

So now this blog will be about my overly competitive nature to be better, faster, than I currently am. I remember in high school my coach told me I was slow and should just stick to discus, javelin, and shot put. So at 31 years young I get to start out with fresh legs, not stuck with what pace I used to run in HS or college and get to see how far I can push myself. And I love it.

Last month I just half-assed a 5K while pacing a friend at a 7:24 pace. I had run 30+ miles that week already. Last weekend with only 17 miles that week I ran a 5K with a crappy 7:38 pace. So much for my tapering plan. What the heck? So I am back on the wagon with my training program.

My goals as of now: Get to Hood to Coast with no injuries and hold 8:30 pace. Run the Portland Marathon with a friend in Sub 4 hours (secretly in 3:30, what the heck is wrong with me?) And drop 5K pace to 6:30 min. Lofty goals, huh?

So I say, Let the Trial of Miles and Miles of Trials begin.