Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sometimes I should follow my own advice

Today I decided to head out for a longish run, the original plan was 10 miles, but then before I started I changed that to 12 miles since I haven't done much in long runs lately. I always tell my runners not to add distance in the middle, but to add the miles at the end in case it gets tough or they decide the longer run isn't such a good idea anymore when they still have a few miles to run.
As I got to my planned turn around I was felling good, so I added on another mile to make the run 14 miles. Not only did I lengthen my run, but I had started out faster then my long run pace. Around mile 8 I was starting to feel it in my legs, which are still sore from the relay this past weekend. I now had 6 miles (instead of 4) left to run on tired legs. Next time I should follow my own advice and add the miles at the end.
14.16 miles in 2:03:20 for 8:43 average pace, still faster then my long run pace should be by about 15 seconds per mile, only 20 seconds off marathon pace. This is why I keep injuring myself.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ragnar Relay

Started my relay weekend by meeting Tessa, Jeannie, and Krista at the airport car rental, which is a chore in itself. I don't think they often see people drive in to the car rental. Went to get our car and saw that there was a Toyota Prius in the spot, uh no. Finally got the van issue figured out and we were on our way. Jill (the GPS) directed us down to LaCrosse, good thing since I was the only local and am terrible with directions. Made a stop for lunch and learned of Krista's love of baked goods and desire for a tattoo, although Jeannie never let us stop. Met up with the Elizabeth, Janice and Mickey in LaCrosse headed to the hotel and planned out dinner. I was excited to see an old favorite of mine is still up and running in LaCrosse, so it was an Italian dinner.

We headed back to the hotel to consume wine and beer and wait for the rest of the group to arrive. Elizabeth and I made an attempt to watch the Olympics, but quickly learned that NBC is nonexistent in LaCrosse. Fran, Megan, Ying, Susan, Kristen, Michelle and Joe arrived around 10 with a possum birthday cake and more wine. Finally to sleep at midnight.

After waking up early to send off Van 1 it was back to the hotel to eat and organize the van. Ying consumed more birthday cake, I think I have found someone who eats as much as I do. With Van 2 all decorated and packed, we headed towards the point where we would start but had to stop for more food along the way. I was the final runner in the rotation, so waited all day before my turn. I got to cheer on my team and watch them run through the heat of the day. My first leg was 8.9 miles and started just after 7pm, perfect timing it was cooling down, the sun was setting and it was sprinkling. Then after a mile uphill the downpour with strong headwinds hit me. I still managed to keep my pace and come into transition with an 8mm pace to the sounds of "Happy Birthday" being sung. I passed the bracelet on to Janice and we headed out for a drive.

Time to eat again, and have a beer before getting a little sleep. Elizabeth and I attempted to sleep in the van, Megan on the tennis court and the others on the gym floor. Then came the call, Jeannie was on her way we had to function again. Time to wake everyone up and open the diet Mt. Dew. It was now 2:30am the night running was happening. Elizabeth was up first and ran past many corn fields, she managed to avoid the corn bears and safely make it to transition to Megan. Now onto my second leg. This one I was looking forward to, 3 miles of flat with a nice downhill at the end right before crossing the bridge over the river. Not sure the pace since my Garmin decided to die on me, but I finished in about 22 min.

We hit the hotel for much needed shower, a little sleep and some cuddling with Ying (little did we realize that we had crashed so hard that we were nearly face to face) and more food of course. We hit our final legs and forgot how tired we were, the craziness continued. Elizabeth came in to get her beer that was open and waiting, Megan flashed everyone as she ran uphill (actually she flashed twice during the relay), Ying took a wrong turn (thanks to a volunteer) and added and extra mile + and a tough hill. I was excited to run the final leg of the relay, this one 5.8 miles with a lot of hills and part of it through downtown, got some strange looks as I ran past wedding photos, theater goers, outdoor diners, etc. Kept making each runner ahead of me a target and ended up passing 7 people! Ran about 7:45 pace and we crossed the finish line at 4:15 as a team about 1 hour ahead of schedule. Matt and Morgan were waiting at the finish line and had met the team by the time I had arrived, I guess the SPP shirts gave it away.

Had a great time at Megan's more food, Momo dress up, and a late night considering I was up a 5 am to coach the next morning. Still need sleep today as I am trying to recall the weekend's events I am sure I am missing a lot due to lack of sleep...

All I can say is what a great way to spend my B-Day

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I debated even writing this, but I'm admitting my defeat and I learned some great lessons at my 1st real tri. A few years ago I did an indoor tri, but this was the first real outdoor tri. I felt ready had done OW swimming, plenty of biking and running, but things were not going to go as planned on Sunday...500 meter swim/15 mile bike/5K run.

Arrived at the park early on Sunday to set up my transition area and then sat with Matt down by the lake until the pre-race meeting started. The swim course didn't look too bad. I was in wave 3 and had decided against a wet suit since the water temp was 77* and I was fine during my OW swims. This morning the air temp was much colder then during my past 2 OW swims. When I got in the water to start I was shivering. I swam about 100 meters (1/2 way to the 1st turn) and felt my lungs tighten up. I just couldn't get any air. I tried to backstroke for the next 100 and take some deep breathes which only slightly helped. At this point I had 300 meters to go and could only go 3-4 strokes until I started coughing, which doesn't work too well in water. I took time to rest on the buoy and even had a chat with a lifegaurd. I continued to backstroke croookedly and finally finshed the 500 meter swim in 40 minutes The last time I swam this course in practice I did 550 meters in 20 minutes, so I was hoping to be under that. I made it through the swim, there was no way I was quiting.

I finally got to my bike and was happy to see other bikes, although not many still in transition. The bike course was really hilly, but I had biked a lot of hills. I was still having problems with my breathing, and noticed I was breathing harder then I typically do when I bike. I just kept a steady pace and managed to pass 40 people on the bike!I finished the bike in 55 minutes, I was hoping for 50 or less. At least at this point I was on dry land and back with the majority of people.

Put on my running shoes and was looking forward to the run and passing more people, my legs felt great. I headed out and made it about 1/10 of a mile and was wheezing and coughing. This was when I knew the swim wasn't just some mental thing causing me issues in the water. I started walking and thought I'd be fine in a couple minutes, but I was wrong. I could run about 30 seconds at a time, but walked most of the course. The end was downhil so I managed to run that and cross the finish line running. I finished the run in 38 minutes. Pretty bad for someone who's strength is running. (had hoped for 23 minutes)

On the positive side I was not the last swimmer or last finisher, there were actually many people behind me. I think a wet suit may help me in the future on OW swims with cold air temps. I am happy that I managed to finish this thing, even though it was not how I had planned it. I will do another tri and Matt even said he wants to do some too. I was still having breathing issues until Tuesday and when I tried to get an appointment to see my doctor on Monday I was told "no, that is an emergency" Uh hello people I am currently calling you from a hospital don't you think I'd rather be there if it was a true emergency. I had a similar issue after the TC 1 miler when I ran in colder air, which is why I tend to avoid cold weather races. I haven't needed my inhaler in over a year so I never bring it with and it is now expired. Guess I'll rethink that in the future too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Getting Old

In one week I will turn 30! What am I doing to celebrate, well only something a runner would do...Ragnar starts on my birthday this year so I thought of course I've got to do that! Myself along with 11 other women will be running 206 miles from LaCrosse to Minneapolis. We each take 3 legs and rotate until I get to cross the finish line! We'll start Friday morning and finish Saturday afternoon. Then the celebration starts.

In the mean time, I am celebrating tonight with friends, food and wine at our house. Oh, yeah and my first tri on Sunday. Since you race tris in the age group you will be at the end of the year, I will be doing my first race with the 30-34 year olds. No more racing against the college or even high school runners.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Potentially good news

I went to yet another doctor (sports podiatrist) today and finally some potentially good news. He did say my orthotics that were custom made in April are completely wrong and he can't do anything with them, but the store orthotics I bought he likes. He added some support which he thinks will really help. I am trying out these changes and going back next week to see if anything else needs to change. He also thinks that if we get these right then I probably won't need to stop running after the fall marathons, just keep lower mileage for the winter. I also learned why I have been having such crappy runs, my work shoes offer no support making my ankle, hip, knee work hard all day that by the time I try to run they are already tired, duh! So next week I need to bring in my work shoes and see what we can do with insoles for those.
He did say that on my MRI from April, there is fluid around the tendon sheath, but not enough to need to remove at this point. We'll just watch this.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Running Partner

Back in late May Morgan had a photo shoot done to be part of a website dedicated to black dogs since black dogs are often the last dogs to get adopted or are even left behind. Maybe I'm the odd one, but I searched out a black dog when we were looking and got my boy...
Check out the Black Dogs Blog or
Here are a few pictures of us running at the lakes from the photo shoot and a couple of him relaxing and eating sand afterwards...

How can you resist that face? What a sweet looking boy...

Friday, August 8, 2008

More bad news...

On Tuesday I went back to the sports doc for a recheck of my ankle tendon issues and didn't get good news. I wasn't expecting anything great, but was hoping. After 6 weeks of decreased mileage (20-25 mpw) and PT I had made no progress and my performance at last weekend's Half only proved this.

He knows I am coaching and have 2 full marathons (no longer 3) to run in October. Other then that I only have 2 other races left this year, a sprint tri next weekend and the Relay in 2 weeks. I have been cleared to continue running through Dublin Marathon and then I am done until this thing is healed for good. In the mean time I am being sent to yet another doctor who can possibly fix my worthless orthotics that were custom made in April to fix the problem but only made it worse. If this doesn't work I may need to buy an entirely new pair. The good news, at this point he still does not think that surgery is the best plan.

So when Matt and I return from Europe in November I will be back in the pool for some more fun pool running and hitting lots of spin classes along with plenty of time on the trainer. My other goal is to continue with the weight training to help with my future running and biking, oh and I guess swimming. Maybe I'll actually get to enjoy swimming this winter.

So 11 more weeks left to run...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Urban Wildland Half

This has not been my year for distance and since G'mas my running has been limited to 20 mpw (I'm trying to keep it close). No speedwork and real training, just easy miles and hills which I can't avoid. This was my 1st half since April 2007 and I was hoping for greatness after my 10K PR last month.

Despite the forcasts all week saying that it would be 90*, at the start of the race it was nice and cool which I took as a good sign. My goal was to run 7:45-7:50 pace, to PR I would need 7:53 pace or better.

Mile 1: 8:01 (A little crowded)
Mile 2: 7:34 (Oops, maybe a little fast)
Mile 3: 7:50
Mile 4: 7:58 (Crowded, narrow trails, couldn't pass or run faster for miles 3-6)
Mile 5: 7:54
Mile 6: 8:09 (Took a Gu)
Mile 7: 7:56
Mile 8: 8:00 (Stupid water stop in the middle of a downhill)
Mile 9: 8:10 (Ankle started to hurt, figured I would be smart to slow down)
Mile 10: 7:54
Mile 11: 8:02
Mile 12: 8:29
Mile 13: 8:12
Mile 13.1: 0:45

Final:1:44:59 8:01 Pace, I think 19/215 Age Group/ 59/613 Women/ 226/1103 Overall
Matt ran a 10 minute PR of 1:57:49
My ankle was pretty sore by the time I was done with the combination of trail running and stopping on a downhill for water. I have decided that my body is not ready for racing half or fulls at this point. I can run the miles, but not at the speed I want. I need to let myself heal before I try to race longer distances again. I am happy with how I have been able to do despite the minimal training and hope this is a sign of what I can accomplish when I am back fully.

Not sure I will do this race again until the course changes, many complaints from a lot who I have talked to. I have even heard of quite a few people getting stopped so traffic could go through.