Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I gave up

There were 30mph gusts today. It felt like it took 2 hrs to go 1/2 mile south. I was totally dogging it. I have been fighting a cold that is settling in my chest. I have been thinking postive this week, but it's getting ahead of me.

I went out with no beverage, no music, nothing, just me and the road again. I was only going to do 4 miles so it was going to be quick. I quickly felt my chest tighten up, but kept dredging along into the wind. It was only 4 miles; I could do it! After a couple of miles my lungs started to burn and I knew wouldn't make it. I knew I didn't drink enough today and was rather dehydrated. That didn't help either. I just couldn't achieve the "flow". I felt like everything was against me. I just stopped and walk the 3-4 blocks home. :( I didn't want to do damage to my body and it was screaming "stop!"

In hindsight, I think I struggle with runs after these long ones. My legs weren't terribly achy; it just wasn't a good run. I wish I could have a little more rest time in between long runs. J may want to get the long run in Thurs night and I think the winds will stick around so I am anxious about that. I now have a new record for wind running!

2.3 mi run; .4 mi walk; RPE - 6

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My new favorite number: 14

Yes, this is correct. 14 miles today. 14 mph winds. 14 oz Gatorade drank during the run. About 1400 calories burned X2. 140 straight minutes of running. New shoes about 1.4 sizes bigger than the old ones. Smiling for 14 hours afterward. Great run!!

I ran a couple miles on gravel this morning. It was the darkest dark I've ever seen. I couldn't see anything. I judging where to run by feel of my feet. After the first mile or so I passed a house and all of a sudden a deep barking came from the property! YIKES. Please be nice please be nice please be nice... This large black lab came charging after me, jumped on me, scratching my leg. I didn't know if my pants ripped from his claws or if he just gave me a big scratch. He was really trying to get my Gatorade bottles on my waist. I kept pushing him away. He actually turned out to be a nice dog and ran with me for about 12 miles.

J only had to do 9 miles today and decided she would do my last 9 with me. That actually turned out to be a good thing. Although the winds were terribly strong today, I kept going. I felt really strong, too. The 14 miles seemed like 10 miles I did a couple weeks ago, only better. I got up at 5, was on the road by 5:15, and meet with J around 6ish and we finished the last 9 miles. At the end of the run, I still felt like I had some in me. My legs were strong, I was in the "zone", and my muscles weren't aching so much.

The wind was definitely a contender today. The 3ish miles I had to run straight north were a big challenge, but I did it! Westward roads were difficult, too, but at least I felt like I was going somewhere. ;) I think this was the strongest wind I've run in out in the open like today.

The shoes were GREAT! Only a week old, but now that I have a long run in them, they are much better than the old ones. I still have some blisters, but nothing like the old ones. I have a new spot for a blister - the little piece of skin/fat right behind my index toe on the left formed a blister. Didn't think this was possible, but I can now say it is!

When I got home, I made a conscious effort to stretch. My thighs weren't burning like they were last week so that's good. We didn't have so many hills like last time, either. Things just glided along smoothly on this one. Later, after I showered, relaxed, etc I noticed my calves were a little achy, but this is truly the best I've felt after a long run yet! YEAH!!

14 mile run; .5 mile walk; RPE - 5.5 into the wind/3 other times

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another missed family meal

Running through the pain. Can I do it? Yes I can! My right thigh is still very owie. Positive thinking worked well tonight...and some Tylenol. Had to make the switch to avoid heart issues. :(

OK, I got my run done, but missed yet another meal with my family. I put supper in the crockpot this morning and then just made some pasta to go with it after school. When I got home they were done, I showered, got dressed and we were off to the next item on the schedule. As I was running I thought about them at home all sitting around the table eating without me, wondering if this is really what I want in life. ugh, such a dilemma.

The run itself wasn't bad. I had a mindset of 14 miles so 4 was really quite easy. I passed a number of people driving, walking, or just out and about. That keeps my head high and my feet moving forward. The longer runs make me less responsible in this regard. I've noticed the more tired I am, the more I "sit". My form breaks down and I am running more in a squatting position, especially uphills.

4 mile run; .25 mile walk; RPE - 3.5

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gliding Machine

Short run. No music. No bandaids. No drugs. No bike. No kid(s). No double socks. No jacket. No running belt. No fluids. No phone. Just running. Just the night. Just the road. Just me. Just new shoes! Just gliding along. Just 51 degrees. Just a great run!

Since it was evening and all the street lights were on, I often got a glimpse of my shadow running. It was kind of surreal watching myself run like that. Bill says I run funny because I don't kick up my knees or my feet behind me. I felt really smooooth, though, like I was gliding along on the road. I felt strong, like a marathoner!

BAM! 3.5 miles. UGH!! Side ache set in. I was determined to finish the run without stopping. It was such a great run and then utter pain. wow. It was getting harder to breathe. I finally made it to the end, almost teary it hurt so much. I think I just didn't wait long enough after eating supper to run. I finished, though. Task completed. Getting ready for 14 miles this weekend.

OK, so my runs lately have left my right side terribly sore. My hip joint started bothering me tonight after the run and my knee is bothering me. I also had a few blisters on the tips of my toes on the left side, too. argh. 14 miles may not be good for my feet. We'll see. It will be a 9 day break between 12 and 14 miles so that will help the healing process, too. I am rather amazed at how quickly my feet heal each week.

4 mile run; .4 mile walk; RPE - 3

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Having doubts

Well, I decided to do 6 miles today because this week looks rather busy. Now I only have 2 - 4 mile days before the next big run. The run was all messed up and this week has been rough.

For the past few weeks I have been ready to sign up for the marathon. I am so proud of myself running 1/2 marathon last Thursday; it's awesome! That's where I left my confidence. I discovered I've been running with bad shoes and then I didn't stretch enough after the long run that my muscles were still achy on the next two runs. I was really struggling today to get the full run in. Many times I just wanted to quit. I had to really activate my self-talk. I was frustrated. Everything was negative. I tried to think positive thoughts, but am having doubts about really being able to finish a marathon. :(

Noelle started biking with me today and pooped out at 1 mile so she went home and Rachael was going to meet me in Dogtown so we could run the Ethanol Loop. I got to Dogtown, called home and found out she left awhile ago. OK, I thought, she will be catching up soon. Never saw her. Got to the corner to turn north and she stiiiillllll wasn't there. I stopped, looked back and didn't see her coming. I thought I better turn around. ugh. This isn't my idea of a good run! Got back into town and there she was waiting for me. I had "lost" a mile by then so didn't want to do the Loop so I kept running what I thought was another 3.5 miles in town. For not knowing a map and just guessing, I came pretty close to 6 miles. This was another stressor on the run. UGH.

OK, now that's over. My shoes feel great. I'm still waiting for a long run, but I think this will work. My feet are still a little tingly, but I am hoping I have more toe room in the front. I can still feel a rub on my left middle toe tip. I had a band-aid on it today, as well as my right big and index toes. This could have come into play with all this, but I think these shoes will be much better than the others for running. No serious blisters forming that weren't already there so I'm excited about that.

I got a new Fitness magazine in the mail this weekend. They had an article on top shoes to buy. For stability in running, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS10 took top honors. This helped my mental game a bit today. I didn't feel the pounding on the pavement like I did yesterday. Things were much smoother in that regard. My shins were knife-cutting yesterday, but they were better today.

5.7 mile run; .3 mile walk; RPE - 4

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mama's got a new pair of shoes!

I finally discovered that my tingly feet and blisters have been caused by my shoes! ACK! It took almost 200 miles to figure this out. I went to someone who knew how to size my feet and got a pair of shoes 1.5 sizes bigger. I knew I would need some time to break them in so I started wearing them around the house. I did a 4-mile run this afternoon thinking this would be a good break-in run for them. I even tied the heel-lock on them hoping that would prevent any issues. They definitnely run differently than my other shoes. I don't think they bothered my feet like the other shoes, but a long run will be the true test.

There were many variables affecting the run today. When I started, my thighs were aching so badly from the 12-mile run a couple days ago. Bill ran the first mile with me and Rachael rode her bike. Because of this, I knew I wouldn't be breaking any records today so I just did my "slow is the new fast" approach. It was a physically a tough run.

About mile 2.5 I really felt like my feet were literally pounding the pavement. I think I run differently with these. Towards the end of the run, my blisters felt like they were starting to act up again. When I got home, I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, however. This is why I think a long run will be the true test of the shoes. I was able to pull a ton of skin off my middle left toetip, though. Wow, that looked really ugly tonight!! Bill was a little grossed out by that. My old shoes felt more "springy". I feel like I run more "flat" with these. I wore 2 pair socks as suggested by Vardotrichic. Maybe that helped the feet, too.

Another variable is that I didn't drug myself on this run. I usually take a Sudafed and a couple Ibuprofen before a mid or long run. I didn't do that this time, thinking I would be ok at 4 miles. Yikes, my legs muscles ached sooo much. I could have unconsciously been compensating for this as I ran. I didn't wear my running belt on this run, either so I didn't drink anything on this run. Should I admit I missed the fluids during a run? nah.

I may need to go back and look at the chapter on blisters, chaffing and other goodies. It seems like that was a long time ago that I read that. My arms have been chaffing near my armpits. They must start sweating and rub against my shirt. Woah, that hurts! Any ideas on this one Vardotrichic?

4 mile run; .3 mile walk; RPE - 4.5

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dam Practice Run - 1/2 way there

I completed a Dam to Dam run this morning! Today is forecasted to be in the 60s. Saturday is forecasted to be snow again. Welcome to spring in Iowa! So, I texted J to see if she wanted to do a big run today. She brought the boys over at 6:30 and by 6:40 Rachael was babysitting. It's so nice to have the girls getting older so that I can leave them for an hour or so. This was her first "real" babysitting job so that was going through my mind throughout the run today: 4 kids under 5!

It was a great run until the last mile, again. The thought entered my mind that I had completed what I did the week before and I think my mind just stopped at that point. I really had to push myself to keep going. I felt like every step was "Come on, one foot in front of the other" and that J was pulling me along.
At about mile 3.5 my left foot started getting tingly again. J commented that your feet swell while running. I'm wondering if that is my problem. Funny thing, it's only in the right foot. Ironically, that's where all/vast majority of my blisters are, too. Correlation? Not sure. I even have one on the arch of my foot...have never gotten one there.
The Ellsworth loop is a good loop for hill training. They are spaced nicely with some big, some gradual, some steep hills. We end the loop back into town with a hill, also. My thighs would burn at the top of the hills and then a little more running will work that out.
When we got back into town I thought, ok, just a quick Ethanol Loop and we're done. We went east to west and back into town. I think I would have done it in reverse if I had to do it again. I had my hill training to Ellsworth and east to west Ethanol has some gradual hills that were difficult for both of us.
The marathon book talks about "flow". I definitely get into a flow on runs. I just keep running and don't pay attention much to the miles going by. I like to mentally note the half-way point, but other than that, it's just getting to the final destination.
As we were coming into town at the end I kept thinking of Dam to Dam. This was my ultimate goal for this training. I have accomplished this distance. I wanted to finish strong. It wasn't the wall, it was just fatigue. I have surpassed the half-way mark and am building strength, endurance, heart muscle, lung capacity, confidence. That is a great feeling and that is why I run!

I was able to still maintain a good pace throughout the run, completing the 12 miles in about 1:55. I was afraid I would poop out and slow way down again like I did last week. I think the wind last week just beat on me. Today was a beautiful morning for a run!

12 mile run; .5 mile walk; RPE - 3.5

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thanks Vardo!

Got to run with my best friend Vardotrichic and her new fiancée and their beautifuil dog Mara last night. It was a GREEEAAAAT run. The six miles flew by - didn't seem like 6 at all, more like 3ish. I hope I didn't slow them down in a bad way because I would LOVE to run with them again. We'll have to make a Saturday of it when Bill is feeling better and we can spend a few hours just sitting around chatting. ;)

There was a nice route chosen and I just let them lead. I think it was a good run because I didn't know where I was going, how many miles were left, or how far I had gone. I just knew the half-way mark and when we turned to go south back to the house. Vardotrichic mentioned the miles a few times, but it didn't bother me where we were. Wish I could run that blind all the time. Usually my last mile is the worst, but I still felt strong at the end.

We ended at Vardotrichic's house for margaritas, uh, I mean postrun replenishing drinks. It looked like a margarita, but was seriously a protein drink. Thanks!

It was a great way to start my Spring Break!
6 mile run; .1 mi walk; RPE - 3
No headphones.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Run Forest Run

Ok, I tried to run fast tonight, but ended up running the same time. :( I really felt disappointed. I can really see why my goal should only be to finish a marathon, not to have other goals. DOH!

Rachael rode Noelle's bike tonight. JK said the track kids were freezing outside running tonight so when I got home, I put on an extra shirt, gloves, and a stocking hat. The run started out really well. The first mile flew by. The second mile was a little harder, the third not so bad, the fourth I really pushed. About mile 2.5 I started shredding clothes: hat first, then gloves, then unzip the jacket. I was sweating like crazy! Who said it was freezing out here?! It was beautiful! Great night for a run.

The winds were strong, straight out of the north. I had about 1.25 mile straight north along the highway tonight. I was running the hills at the cemetery. I had glimpses of the 5K at Jewell Jubilee last year again. I remembered turning the corner at the south side of the cemetery and hitting the strong cool headwind. I was done. Not tonight! I was strong; I was a marathoner! No problem. It was nice to have Rachael to distract me, too.

My humonga blister inside my big toe was looking much better by this afternoon. I put a bandaid on it anyway because I didn't want it to get worse so I'd have to run 6 miles tomorrow night on it. ugh. After the run, I pulled off the dead skin. I'll let it heal and see how it looks tomorrow.

I have been reading ahead in the book again and got to a chapter on connectivity and disconnectivity. They talked about connecting with what is happening - running. Be very conscious of the act of running. They explained that if you are disconnected from this, the mind is distracted from running. [Yes! That's what I want!] They go on to say that the body is training, but not the mind. hmmm. argh. It's the mental distraction that allows the body to train. I feel like that's how I've gotten this far already. I am in awe that in about 3 weeks I went from running only 40-50 min to running over 2 hrs without stopping. I don't want to hear myself breathing. I don't want to feel the pain in my legs and the blisters on my toes. I don't want to think about how much farther I have to run. I'm supposed to be keeping positive thoughts, right? It's the disconnetivity that allows me to remain positive. They strongly recommend not listening to music, daydreaming, etc. It's that music that drowns out all the negativity. I like running with someone else to talk about *stuff* to distract me from counting miles, minutes, steps.

4 mile run; .25 walk; 10 min stretch; RPE - 3

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Run Like the Wind

WOW! That was a hard run, but a good run! J and I ran the Ethanol Loop and a little more. We had a nice chat. Again I started to poop out at the end as we were heading back into town. We talked about all sort of topics that will stay on the run. Nice time. I didn't feel like I was drinking much but when the run was over my bottles were pretty much gone. I felt my toes rubbing again, too. When I got home I took off my socks and there was a HUUUUUGE blister on inside of my big toe on the right. That will take awhile to heal.

It was 11 miles that felt like about 9. Guess that makes a good run. We were running with the wind pretty much the whole way. Only about 1.5 miles that we were running with the wind, about 3 miles into the wind, and the remaining was strong to our sides. I am quite chilly now so it's time to go soak in a hot bath.

11 mile run; 1/2 mile walk; 10 min stretch; RPE - 4

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another Loop

Once again, I was reflecting on my run for the day and realized that I could run, get showered, and then to church if I hurry this afternoon. I did the Ethanol Loop as soon as Bill got home...he's the best daddy/husband in the whole world! It turned out to be perfect timing.

I couldn't figure out the winds so I just took off not knowing if I should head west or east first. When I got to the tracks I decided to go east. Good choice. I think I prefer that direction better. Somehow that highway stretch seems soooo long. The run back into town through Dogtown is much easier.

The run itself was pretty good. I felt strong all the way through. I dressed more loosely today - only my thin running pants, no headband, rolled up fingerless mittens (thanks to J!).

5 mile run; 2 block walk; RPE - 3

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What sexy legs!

Yes, that's a wild title. I was stretching in front of a mirror and realized I have great looking legs! They look like they did in college...almost.

Anyway, I missed my run last night. I had a really long day, didn't get home until almost 10:00 and still had to do some homework. I am contemplating how to make up that run. I may just have to cross it off the list. :(

We are getting rain all week so I am a little discouraged. I know there is a chance I may have to run in rain on "raceday", but I'm quite sure it will be a little warmer than 30 degrees. I may just push all my runs back a day since I've missed a day anyway. That way I can still make them up and the long run won't be in the rain.

Tonight's run was actually quite good during the first half. Again, I started thinking about how many miles were left and started to break down in form andenergy.

I also need to eat a more substancial lunch...other than popcorn.

5 mile run; .6 mile walk; 62 min; RPE - 4

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Breaking the 10-mile barrier

While looking at the forecast all week, I have been anticipating freezing rain for today with light rain all day - not exactly my idea of a fun run. "It just doesn't matter." When I woke up this morning I didn't see any icing outside, but it looked a bit darker to the west. I went back to bed. I woke up later and the same thing happened, but I checked the radar this time. The rain was on the western border and moving slowly. I thought, "this was my chance." It was about 27 degrees and about 12 mph winds from the southeast. I changed my clothes and got some Gatorade.

Noelle was awake so I asked her if she wanted to ride her bike with me since we were able to get the garden shed open. With an eastern wind, I decided to run to Ellsworth and back, and then a couple more miles through town. After establishing the rules for the run, we left. She was excited to be with Mommy. We went down the first hill and then up the BIG hill. It was hard for her to get up that hill. We finally made it to the top. On the other side there was a very strong frigid headwind at us and she was done. Her skin was "frozen", her hands hurt, and she just wanted to cry. It was all I could do to talk her through it and remain focused to get through my run and we weren't even 1.5 miles along. UGH. I called Bill to come get her in the van and I finished the run.

I was so glad I changed my mind and the did the Kum-N-Go run rather than going west through Dogtown to the county road. It's an 8-mile roundtrip. The frigid headwind and hills were nasty. It was a good challenge for me. Funny how those hills don't look so big in a car. :) When I wanted to stop, I kept thinking of Mark. If he can do what he did, I can surely run a measly 10 miles. "Your lungs are stronger, your heart is stronger, your legs are stronger, you're a machine, you can do it, you're a marathoner, you're beautiful, you're improving each week, you're a marathoner!!" When I got back to town, I ran the hill past my house even. That was at mile 8. I am so excited. I have come so far. Only 2 more miles to go and it's all in town!

When I got back, and was writing down my minutes for Live Healthy Iowa, I realized I have run more than twice as long as my long run 4 weeks ago. That was good for me too. I always told distance runners & marathoners that they were crazy for running for so long. I think I am officially crazy. Two miles short of Dam to Dam. I can do this!

The last two miles were a little tough. I seem to tell myself that there isn't much left so I think my body slows and starts to shut down. I need to find a way to keep going strong through those last few miles. I did a lot of visualization techniques during those last few miles. That helped a little, but I need another strategy to maintain consistent mental endurance. It will come, I'm sure. I am achieving goals that I never thought possible. That's a GREAT feeling! Even if I quit now, I've accomlished a lot.

10 mile run; .5 mile walk; RPE - 5 going east/3.5 going west (Can I change it like this?)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Three straight days of running + three miles tonight + 23 degrees outside = 1 great run. I ran really fast tonight. I left after CCD and ran like crazy. It was great to get outside again. I took a layer off compared to what I have been running lately so it felt a bit chilly, but it was nice not to have so many clothes on. I noticed the path passed the cemetery was scooped/plowed so I tried to incorporate that loop into my run, just for some variety. I was glad I changed my mind at the last min because it was really was not plowed. The cemetery is, but the sidewalks are not necessarily plowed. I even stepped into a big puddle. argh. I've determined that I really don't like running outisde in the snow, slush, and rain?? It was really a great run tonight, though.

3 mile run; .25 walk; RPE - 3

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A hurried run

I left school as fast as I could so that I could do the Ethanol Loop and be home before 5:30 for everyone to leave for Taekwondo. Perfect timing!

This was a 5-mile run and I felt like I was in a rut, as I have been the past week or so. I'm just running to be running; it's the scheduled run. I had a hard time getting started, but by the time I was getting back into town, I felt like I had another couple miles in me.

While I run relatively the same speed outside as inside, I really feel like I am barely moving outside. I was running toward a stop sign and it didn't feel like I was ever getting any closer to it. I often felt the need to run faster and that I was just jogging. I had to keep telling myself that that slow is fast, but I couldn't shake that feeling that I was getting I was getting slower and slower. I kept Mark Block in my mind a lot so I didn't have to use a lot of my inner voice.
I also took my ipod and found while I wasn't consciously listening to it, it was a good distractor to my breathing and other outside noises. Between songs when it was "quiet" I heard myself panting and working hard. I heard the buzzing of the electrical lines. I heard my footsteps pounding the pavement. Follow the white line. I heard my water sloshing in the water bottles. I heard all these other noises that running was work. The music was nice to drown that out. I thought a lot about my 10 mile run coming up this Saturday, too. I am mentally, unconsciously preparing.

5 mile run; .25 mi walk; RPE - 4

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank you Mark Block

OK, I feel like I've been in a slump lately. I am down and out, stressed, always tired. I'm not excited about what I'm doing anymore. ick. I read the next chapter in my marathon book. It had a story about Mark Block who was in a serious car accident and paralized from the ears down. All medical staff told him he'd be dependent on everyone else and forever in a wheelchair. If he was really lucky he would regain the use of his hands and have an electric chair. Months later he walked out of the hospital with the support of a cane. He signed up for the marathon course, but couldn't walk more than a few 100 feet before having to sit down from exhaustion. They initially set a goal of 5K for him. Come marathon time, his goal was 11 miles. He walked like 15 miles in over 8 hrs. Absolutely amazing. Just what I needed to keep going tonight. Only 3 short miles, but it felt like the 8 I ran on Saturday. It took me 3 tries to get the right episode of Lost found on the computer. I was truly Lost tonight.

3 mile run; .5 mile walk; 40 min; RPE - 4.5