Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Bad and the Good-- two days apart!

Ok, so Monday I took the car in for state inspection (after getting a hefty warning/ticket) and thought I'd get a nice, easy 15 in while they checked the car. WELL.

First, it was COLD- 30 degrees or so, and my asthma kickec in a bit-- not so much that I was actaully wheezing, but my breathing was labored. Didn't help that I was on a hilly route. I was having trouble breaking 10min/mile. Several thoughts went through my head, and in the end I decided to HTFU and just run as many hills as possible, albeit slowly.

My legs were dead-- I actually cannot remember the last time they felt that way-- just like lead slogging through mud or something. I stopped a few times for BR breaks, and to buy some water, and to talk with the guys from Sears Auto. Turns out they needed the car for a few MORE hours... so ended the 15 at home (embarassing pace: 10:04) only to find that I had locked myself out. So- used my secret way to get in, showered and then had to WALK the 3M over to get the car. By this point in the day (1:30) it had gotten MUCH warmed, so the walk was actully pretty nice-- my legs felt better after than before. Count that as my CRAPPY LR for the training cycle. Ran 60 miles in 8 days though.. legs need a break.

Tuesday- walked during DS's piano lesson for 25 minutes, then rode stationary bike for 30 minutes. Easy-

Today- (Wed). Wasn't sure what to do-- original thought was 8M outside, then when I looked at the weather, changed that to 4M inside and 4M outside. Got on TM, and ended up doing 11 on TM-- ave pace 9:15. My legs felt like I go have gone for a few more miles, but do NOT want to hurt anything this close to 4/20. I did some hillwork (up to 3.0) which made for a great workout. The new tunes are really helping to get/keep me motivated!

Saturday is Just A Short Run (JASR). Weather forecast: warm- high of 58, but rainy- ugh. Am planning to do 15M @MP of 8:40. We'll see how the legs feel-- I might adjust it down to 13@MP and do the full 20. Still up in the air-- a lot will depend on the weather.


35 miles in 3 days!

So- I finally got my 20-miler in on St. Patrick's Day. Quite a change from 'drink free 'till you pee' at the Red Onion from 20 or so years ago! Average pace was 9:30, with the last 4M at MP or better. Did it on the Peters Trail, with the last few miles on the uphill section. Felt good most of the time. I uploaded a bunch of new songs from ITunes the night before and made a new playlist, which helped a TON! Not knowing what song was coming next was fun, and the new tunes mixed with old favorites kept me going.

Wednesday the weather was just perfect-- 55-60 or so (at least if felt that warm) so I did the unthinkable of late and ran again. Just a little 4M recovery... and I mean recovery-- I think the pace was 11/min mile-- really! On the trail again-- it was too nice to be inside- I went during CCD for the boys. There were tons of people outside, so that was nice.

Thursday I ran 11M outside and do notice a BIG difference in pace/effort on hills. Vowed to get as many runs between now and Boston done outside-- need that hill work! A very hilly 11M at 9:30 pace. Legs felt good, but tired.

Friday I swam 1M-- recovery.

Saturday-- 10M w/3 x 15M at MP minus 20 which turns out to be 8:12, which is really closer to MP minus 30, but felt ok. I actually did the last segment for 20 minutes, as I was REALLY on the clock with DH. Got. it. done.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

10 miles and Garmin revival

Last night went out with GNO gals for b-day dinners at Six Penn-- yummy and fun! Got home pretty late (12:30) and had 3 vodka drinks, so was feeling it a bit this morning. Had a good morning with the boys and got them off to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with MIL and SIL. Then, went to get my 10M run in.

On my way there I noticed my Garmin was not turning on. Was pretty pissed about it, b/c I took time to charge it before we left. Was thinking at the time it was dead, but I had my Ipod, and was going to the trail, so the markers would help. Parked at the 'top' of the trail, so that I'd run downhill the first 5M and uphill the last 5M. It was a very different physical and mental run than the same ten miles (in opposite direction) last week. Used my car clock for time estimate; I think it was 10.2 miles in 1:38. I actually felt like I was going a bit faster than that the last 5M (based on effort/breathing) but did take it really easy the first 5M. Good news: nothing hurts and I feel pretty good.

Better news: one of my friends from ROL helped me re-set my Garmin and its working again! What a relief! I actually enjoyed the run today without it, but really benefit from knowing pacing; at least every mile from a watch.

SRD tomorrow, then I AM going to get in that 20 Monday! I think I can! I think I can!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I rode the Short Bus to Yoga today....

yep... that would be me- the one requireing LOTS of extra attention from the yoga teacher. Nevermind that I selected a spot in the FAR BACK corner. This was 'Yoga 2' and I actually really LIKED this class- more movement and challenges--- somethings I definitely and am not flexible enough for, but I feel as though I held my own with the strength moves. I hope to take those Wed/Friday yoga classes more often.

Yesterday I got a short run in-- 5M around North Park. It was pretty windy, and I was blowing some pretty impressive (for me anyway) snot rockets, which seemed to end up on me or my clothing no matter which way the wind was blowing. oh well- that is what the washing machine is for, right? I was actually pretty pleased b/c I did not wear my Garmin, did not really get accurate mile splits, and was taking is really easy. 5M in 46:56 = 9:24 pace.

So, I have officially accepted the fact that I missed one long run this training cycle, and I'm trying to focus more on the runs I HAVE gotten in, rather than that now I'm obsessed wtih getting in a good 20-miler on Monday, or at the latest, Tuesday. That will really be my only chance to get in 2 20 mile runs this training cycle. Keeping my fingers crossed, and trying to not do too much.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Still no running-- day 4- UGH!

So I not only have not run since Saturday, but have not done ANY exercise since Sunday's measly stationary bike ride. I cannot remember the last time I went 3 days in a row without some sort of exercise. To top it off, I've been taking a 2+ hour nap the past three days while the boys are in school. Still feel like crap, but at least I'm feeling somewhat better today. Good enough to realize I WILL feel better someday.

So, my pity party continues....

I am trying to be positive and realize that at this point starting running again too early and too hard is going to be very bad for recovery and training. So, am going to try a slow 5m tomorrow, then 10 Saturday and maybe 15 or so Monday. Then pray that I feel well enough to get at least 1 20 miler in before the Just a Short Run. At least 18... UGH.

At least my IT Band and hamstring are rested....

TTFN from GT (grumpy Tara)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Welcome to my Pity Party~

Ok, so remember in the Lion King when the young cub Simba says 'Ha! I laugh in the face of danger', right before almost getting eaten by the hyenas? Well, Saturday I felt like 'Ha! I laugh in the face of a sinus infection, and it has come back to bit me on the ass, big time. Saturday's run went great, then we went to the Pitt b-ball game, and Saturday night I went to dinner and movie with a couple of friends. Nothing too strenuous, right?

Well, yesterday I woke up feeling like complete crap, and after Church and the Dude's b-day party (which went really well, and he totally enjoyed) I was till draining and wiped out. Went to bed early, slept ok, and this morning we ALL overslept! Now, I could blame it on the time change, but am going with the culprit de jour for all the ails me: the sinus infection. Got the boys off to school, and am sitting here feeling completely sorry for myself as far as my training goes.

Here are my woes:
I feel like this whole training cycle has been plagued from the start, and it is SO FRUSTRATING to me for 3 reasons:
1) it is Boston, which I have wanted to do since I cheered people on in 1989 at the race
2) I have tried to be so patient and smart with my training; skipped Philly this year, cut back to running 3 days a week, have been doing yoga, stretching, core work, etc.
3) I am not even shooting for a huge PR! ALL I WANT TO DO IS TRAIN FOR AND ENJOY THIS RACE~ I guess the running gods are not in my favor this year.

It would be one thing if I were shooting for a 3:35, training 6 days a week, running doubles and putting my body and family through all sorts of challenges and self-centered scheduling hoops, but I have remained positive and tried not to talk about my training setbacks. (except to the gals at RWOL- thanks gals!) I've arranged my schedule so that I only have a short workout on one weekday, the other weekday is a rest day. Done all my LR on Mondays or Tuesdays so as not to interfere with family activities.

All in all I guess my main complaint is WHY THE HELL CAN'T I JUST TRAIN FOR THIS THING? UGH!!!!

When I pull myself back and realize its just one day I'm taking off, and that it really doesn't make a difference if I run my 20 this week or next, I can step back from the proverbial ledge. It just gets to me sometimes. First the ITBand, then the hamstring, now the sinus infection. I hope and pray that this is it! I guess I keep telling myself that....

Ok. Enough bitching. In some weird way I feel better for getting this down.

Thanks for attending my pity party! Here's hoping there are no more scheduled in the near future!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Sinus Infection?

Yesterday I went to the Take Care Clinic and the P.A. said I have a sinus infection, which explains why my throat has felt like crap and I've had no energy the past couple of days. I get these a couple of times a year-- usually when the weather changes. She noticed my 'Marathon Mama' t-shirt and said I should not run for a few days. So... I did take the day completely off from working out yesterday, which was actually really nice btw, but went ahead and did my 10miler this morning.

Went out to the Peters Trail, which has about a 1-2% steady grade depending on where you park. So, I did the last 'ego run' I'll do before Boston, which is to park at the downhill end, so the first 5 miles were uphill:
9:44, 9:35, 9:28, 9:25 and 9:14

then I turned around:
8:46, 8:44, 8:38, 8:17, and 7:56! The last couple of miles I was trying to catch up with this women who was moving along pretty well... I did just at the last half mile of the trail.

So- the trail is ready to run on again! The drinking fountain and porta-potty are not up and working yet, but soon! Also, I will be parking at the 'top' end of the trail from now on to simulate the hill situation in Boston: downhill during the first part of the course and uphill during the second part.

All in all I feel pretty good about it, and am curious to see how things go on Monday, when I'm going to get in my first 20-miler of the training cycle.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Putting my training in the hands of Esined....

Ok, so in an unorthodox move, I have officially committed to running 3x a week, with 1.5-2M swims on one day, and other recovery XT the 5th workout day. Will try and get at least one yoga day in there somewhere and a step-mill workout. (so, I guess that is 6 days a week). I hope to get to Hopkinton in the best shape possible, if not the best running shape.

There is a forumite in RWOL, Esined (I do know his real name, but want to keep the paparazzi guessing), who runs sub-3 marathons on 3x a week, with tough cross-training and lifting. Without going into details, I have gleaned enough about him through thread on the website, and he has been kind enough to answer my questions.

Thing is, what he does makes sense to me. It is not a FIRST-type training with super-fast or precise paces, but more Pfitiz-ish in the running portion of the training. This week I did my first of his suggested 'speed' workout.

10M with the 3 x 15 minutes at MP minus 20 seconds
w/u 2M
3 x 15 minutes at 8:12 pace, with 5 minute 'recovery' at 9:30 pace. The recovery pace might technically be too fast, but it felt good at the time.
The last 15 minute set I pushed to 20 minutes mainly b/c the looming boredom of a 1/5M warm down.

This was a GREAT workout! The 10M went by quickly, and my legs felt tested, but not tired.

Below are the questions I sent him:
1) next week, should I add more time to the sets (3 x 20) OR
2) add more speed to each set (MP minus 30 seconds) OR
3) add more of an incline to this workout. (this is what I think might be best for Boston, but wanted to get your opinion)

All in all this was a good confidence booster. For me, the endurance is my goal this training cycle, not additional speed, so I hope to continue the good week of running.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

16M... CHECK
last two at MP..... CHECK
better mood........ CHECK!!!

Today's run could not have gone better, well I guess running outside would have been better. Bitter cold again- some schools around here had two hour delays... not ours thank goodness!

First 6.75M 1:05 9:37
Second 6.75M 1:03 9:19 pace
last 2.5~ 2M at MP 17:00, then last .5 cooldown.

Average pace for first 14M was 9:30, which is exactly where I wanted to be today. I was a bit nervous after running those 4M last night how the legs would feel, but they feel great! A good overall run, and good confidence booster. Now- I do need to get outside for these long runs! I did mix in some 1% grade during the first 14M, but that is not really hill work.


Mama told me there would be days like this....

So yesterday was an unmitigated disaster from a running standpoint. The Dude has been sick, I was home with him all day Sunday, and figured I'd let him sleep in, and take him to school around 10:00 and get my 16 in. He has this horrible hacking cough, and it was so strong it had made him sick a couple of times. I felt so badly for him, but he was really brave, and by Monday morning (yestereday) seemed to be doing better. So, when it was time to take him to school, the cough got really bad, and I kept thinking that I'd better make sure it was bronchitis or pneumonia or something.... so took him to the dr. There goes my daytime run....

Dude was 'fine', and actually in good spirits the rest of the day. DH volunteered to come home at a decent hour, and let me go run while he put the kids to bed. So, at that point I was looking at running from 6:30-9:0o PM--- not the best of times, but I was happy to be able to get it in.

Well, DH didn't get home until 6:30 (No fault of his, it is tax season) and when I got to the gym, I realized I didn't have my socks. At this point I was going to exchange the 16 for a speedish type workout of 10 with some sub-MP miles. When I started in at the 15 minutes at 8:12, the meat sauce I had been making for dinner and thus tasting in copious amount decided it was time to make a second appearance. I DID manage to keep it all down, but between the sick tummy and blisters that were starting to form on my upper foot, decided to call it a day. Got in 4M. UGH.

Now I AM lucky b/c my schedule is so flexible, but with running only 3x a week (more on that tomorrow) NEED, and I mean NEED to get all 3 runs in with their specific type of workout. So, I moved a couple of things around, and will inconvenience DH a bit again on Saturday, having to run that day, but will keep on moving on.

Here's hoping today is a better day for both me and the Dude.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

50 days to go... where am I?

Boston is 50 days away. I am trying not to freak out, and last week helped a good deal. I got in my 18 miler on Monday, which went great! Did it all on the TM; had to stop twice due to nature calling-- loudly, but felt good otherwise. First 16M at 9:44 pace; last two at GMP, 8:34.

Second run was OUTSIDE!!! yippee! 12M total: 6M on track, then the rest up past SCCC on the big uphill. I realized that I really need to run outside more b/c my breathing changed pretty dramatically on the hills. Average pace 9:33.

Third run TM run again: 10M w/5M at GMP. This run really helped my confidence. The MP felt good, and I could have dialed it up a notch or two, but didn't want to push things.

XT #1 was swimming: 2M with 3 x 10 length kick sets. Since the kick sets seems to tire out my legs, I am going to continue them. It makes the workout take about 15 minutes longer than otherwise, but I think it will help.

XT#2 will take place today. The little Dude was sick last night, and from 4am on, so DH took DS#1 to hockey game up in Indiana, PA. I am sorry I can't be there, but know it is so important to both of them that DH be there. They are going to play for the Playoff Chamionships this afternoon. So, I most likely will hit the stationary bike for 45 minutes or so.

So-- where am I? I am definitely on my own training plan-- and emailed a helpful RWOL forumite for pacing suggestions. I don't want to do the FIRST paces b/c I am afraid that running too many miles too fast will aggravate the ITBand. I know I have the speed to get the 3:47 again, but need to work on the endurance. If things go well the next few weeks, I'll add some VO2 workouts closer to the race date. It is still sinking in that I'm going to actually run the Boston Marathon!!