this run was very short, but very, very sweet. 4 miles of normal, real running. no knee compression sleeves, no treadmill inclines, and no pain.
i was very nervous to go out and run. what if my leg still didn't work?
i started very slow and easy, then gradually worked into a faster-easy pace as i gained more confidence in my knee. i decided to forgo the compression sleeve...all that would do is alter my natural gait and baby anything that is not fully healed. maybe i am wrong here, but it seems like it would be a crutch of sorts that i would start relying on and then feel hesitant to stop wearing it.
i did feel some residual soreness from all the biking last week, but it felt so good to run and work it all out. overall, i was just happy to be out. it wasn't as mentally relaxing as it could have been since i was in constant worry that it wasn't going to hold up, but hopefully those feelings will subside if i am able to run consistently and pain-free this week.
today i was thinking about the very first marathon i ever trained for, which was DesNews 2005. i decided to run it and signed up on june 1.
so i guess june 1, 2009 is a re-set button of sorts.
i am taking the every-other-day approach.
15 min. running this morning to warm-up then off on the bike up emigration canyon.
i have been looking more into popliteus-type injuries, as i am still very much doubting that this injury is a muscle tear. i don't really have the time or resources to get a second opinion, so i have been doing a bit of research. i found a rather boring power point on "popliteal artery entrapment syndrome" (PAES).
it is full of medical jargon and wordy nonsense, but it contains a bunch of pictures and diagrams to help my elementary mind understand most of what it is talking about. it is a perfect match to my symptoms---"compression of the popliteal artery and impairment of its blood flow by structures of the popliteal space"---this is what i have been trying to describe when i feel pressure build up like compartment syndrome, yet a space or disconection like a broken rubber band. it is located next to the popliteal vein, which is located next to the tibial nerve---hence the pinched-nerve-sensation.
anyway, although it is not an official diagnosis, i am going to assume that this is what is wrong, or at least in closer relation to the injury than a torn muscle.
i bit of a frustration though, as this is much more complicated. . geeeeezzzzzz........i need a new hobby.
my knee is showing improvement each day. today was the longest i have been able to run---both time and distance---without any pain, walking, stopping, stretching, massaging, etc. it was also the first time i made it through an entire run without any hint of discomfort or signals from my leg that it was about to give out at any moment...that has been happening each day right toward the end. but today i ran strong and pain-free straight through my "finish line" line on the sidewalk by my front door.
i am glad i decided to run today because i almost just went out on my bike. but i decided i would warm-up and see how i felt, so i ran to liberty park. i did one loop and felt great, and the sidewalk just keept pulling me along, so i kept at it until i had done three.
i was also able to find a more natural stride today and my form felt much more normal and comfortable. maybe it was my shoes...i pulled out my retired mizuno wave revolver ultra-light racers that i used to wear last summer. i occasionally bring these out for speed workouts, or just any time i feel like i want to wear bright blue shoes to clash with the rest of the world. maybe as a symbolic nod to the economic situation, i should bring the shoes out of retirement and put them back to work again this summer.
hopefully today was a sign that my leg really is improving and it's not just a day-to-day-maybe-it's-healed sort of thing. i would like to gradually increase my mileage to 7-8 miles a day next week, and then hopefully get back up to 10s, Big Workouts and long runs within the next 2-3 weeks. for now though, it is all going to be easy-paced base mileage until i re-gain confidence in my leg. i want to ensure that it will cooperate every day and stay strong through each and every run.
SLC has caught a rollerblading fever. they are everywhere! moms rollerblading while pushing strollers, powerhouse fitness dudes, chit-chatting rollerblading social groups, even an old grandpa. it makes running around liberty park a bit frightening. so congested!
8.5 hrs. of sleep last night. i can't remember the last time i got that much sleep in a single night. feels really nice!
another round of icing today...hopefully the FINAL round. i plan to do 6 miles tomorrow at a good pace, then i will attempt my 8 mile sugarhouse loop on tuesday. if all goes well, i will consider this injury conquered. then i will turn my focus back to marathon training...47 days to DesNews!!!
this was an afternoon run. it was slightly overcast when i left; no rain or wind to speak of. but i knew i was taking a risk when i saw the ominous storm clouds moving in over sugarhouse. it was actually quite pleasant until the last 2.5 miles. then the rain really started to come down hard. it still wasn't that bad until i hit a headwind. and by then the rain had puddled on the roads enough that i was getting splashed by all the cars. very adventurous. very, very wet.
even with the weather, i was so happy to be on this run. no trouble whatsoever from my knee, and i felt extremely well-rested. i finally broke away from the flat, mundane loops of liberty park. i incorporated some steep uphills, steep downhills, flat stretches, and gradual downhills. no problems at all on the downhill. good.
side note: in my class this morning we were on the subject of "nutrition for the athlete". i talked about how it is typical for a professional athlete to consume 3000 - 6000 calories per day. (i've heard deena kastor's intake is about 5000 during peak marathon training---couldn't tell by looking at her!) anyway, someone mentioned that their uncle is a marathon runner and that in order for marathoners to survive the race they have to consume tens of thousands of calories or they will DIE! lol. where people come up with this, i will never know. so anyway on my way home i was thinking about everything i would eat to fulfill a 10,000-calorie-a-day quota...
8 miles easy in 1:04:14 / 8:01 average. this was my first run down sunnyside in four weeks. so fun. i also wore my mizuno racing flats again. i am trying to toughen up my feet so that i can run longer in my five fingers. last fall i could only run about 5 miles in them, none of which were very comfortable. then i stopped using them over the winter. i would like to try racing a 5k or10k in them, and eventually get to the point where i can handle longer runs of about 15 miles. that's something i will be working on this summer.
another 8 miler. today i wanted to test some different paces and assess my fitness at this point. last time i checked (may 16), MP was 6:50 - 6:55. i obviously haven't done any sort of speedwork, tempo or MP miles since then, so i was a little worried. i also wanted to see if my knee would tolerate some faster paces. it held up just fine. i ran 4 easy and then gradually started speeding up. i would hold the pace for 3-5 min. then speed up again.
6:58 - fine, felt loose and comfortable.
6:40 - comfortably hard
6:25 - somewhere between comfortably hard and uncomfortably manageable
6:00 - uncomfortably unmanageable. ran for 1/2 mile and done.
sooooo, i definitely know what i need to work on. i really want to get my 5k race pace under 6:00. i was a bit frustrated on how winded i felt at that pace today. i guess i didn't pedal hard enough on my bike rides!
a good run today. 7.5 miles total. i felt great and the weather was really nice...although not very june-like.
2 mile warm-up going up sunnyside. then 5.5 at 6:55 pace.
pre-blog (wed. night): i just got back from a volunteer meeting for the UVM on saturday. i signed on to be part of the "all-nighter" crew. so i will be helping set-up the course and aid stations, then i will be heading back to provo towne center to help with bus-loading, etc.
this makes it possible for me to get down to the finish line in time to cheer on all the runners. much more exciting than an aid station at mile 5.
SLC loop to 3300 south then north on pothole-construction-cone-dust-infested 900 east. i could run on 800 east but i am scared of the chihuahua. and 1300 and 700 are unpleasant with all the traffic. so 9th it is. it's actually kind of fun. hurdle over orange barrels, army crawl under caution tape, climb in and out of holes, etc, etc.
alright...my first run longer than 8 miles since my pseudo marathon. progress. i need to start doing long runs again. probably next week...i need to run at least 17.1 miles to prove that my knee will still work past that distance. average pace 7:00.
i work until 11 pm tonight then i am going straight to provo for the race. hopefully i can squeeze in a nap sometime before work, or i am not going to be very helpful or effective tonight...especially if they give me the job of bus-loading. i will just climb on the bus and go to sleep.
i made it to provo by 12 am last night. i was stationed at the finish line area. tons of random things going on all night. setting up cones.
moving cones. dropping cones on my toes (again i am an idiot wearing
flip-flops). i still have some nasty construction tar on my hands.
cones are dirty!
i set up the medical tent and cots; it took me 35 min. to figure out how to put the screen on it. upsidedown. then inside-out. then right corner on left corner. etc. i finally got it done, but by that time runners had started showing up. i cannot tell you how many "save me a spot in there" comments i received from runners. ha.
we also set up the water tent and the massage tent. then we tied the ridiculously long but very vibrant blue banners to the gates along the finishing chute. it ended up looking pretty cool.
overall it was a really fun experience, especially when the runners started coming through. i was back and forth across parking lots, but for the most part i was able to get a glimpse of most everyone's races. congrats to all the runners. you guys all did awesome today. mary ann had a great debut marathon with her first place win. i recognized many bloggers and it was really fun to see you all go by.
ran at 4 am because i had to be to work EARLY today. 8 nice and easy except for the last mile i kicked it in hard. felt great. i was able to catch up on some much-needed sleep yesterday.
watching the race saturday really got me excited for desnews. and to make it even more exciting, my little sister decided to enter the 10K. no one in my family runs, so this is huge! i am so excited for her. we set up a training plan and i think she is going to have a blast.
9 miles - took it easy as tomorrow i am planning on a Big Workout. first one in awhile; it will be interesting to see how i handle it. i am also looking for a race this saturday. 5k or 10k. any suggestions?
30 min. weights/core
note: i have been doing planks for just over a year now (~ 4 days a week). i have yet to find it enjoyable. i started at 45 seconds, increasing by 5 seconds every 1-2 weeks. i am currently at 3:40. at this rate, i should finally make it to the full 5 minutes by december! maybe i will make it an official goal and then i will have to do it.
BW today. i was scared when i woke up because i knew i had this workout hanging over my head. would my knee hold up? where is my fitness level at? do i even want to do this today? plus, i was super hungry. i thought about doing an "intentional crash" workout, but i really wanted to get some good data, so i ate breakfast first. i decided to pull out the HR monitor. it stopped working after 2 miles. darn. i REALLY wanted to get some HR data to compare it to a previous workout. not today.
so the purpose of this workout:
-testing the knee. i am pretty sure it's 100% but this would give me more confidence in it
-if i decide to run a 5k this weekend, i need to figure out what kind of pace to shoot for
-where is my fitness level at after a 2.5 week break and 1.5 weeks of base-mileage?
between intervals (min.)
1, 2, 3, 1, 1
mile @ 6:18
mile @ 6:15 pace
miles @ 8:34
x 30 seconds strides (1 min. EZ in between)
5:01, 5:01, 5:02, 4:59
miles (8:12 pace)
/ 7:23 average
thursday and friday will be very easy recovery runs, then hopefully a race on saturday if my schedule permits.
i know the true tinman training should be 2 BW and a long run, but i can't handle that, obviously. one BW and a race will suit me just fine, i think. i am trying to find a happy medium between too little mileage and over-the-top mileage. i can't expect to improve without increasing mileage and intensity, but there is a limit for me and i found it the hard way. i think 50-60 mpw is safe for me right now. we'll see where that gets me for desnews. if it's not the best way to go about it, i will re-work my training for TOU.
i lived in indiana in the summer of 07...hated running in the damp air and soggy conditions. i never thought utah would have a similar climate. i am anxiously awaiting the hot, dry, oven-like days of the typical utah summer. where's the heat?!?!
Strawberry Days 5K (3.1 Miles) 00:17:59, Place overall: 1
Marathon Pace Miles
VO2 Max Miles
the morning started out quite hectic, as i overslept by 50 min. i hate it so much when i do that...but on a race morning it makes it that much worse. luckily i had given myself about a 45 minute cushion because i like to get to races super-early to minimize any stress or mishaps. that cushion was now gone, but i still i had time to get to the race.
my lesson for the day: pre-register. i usually do, but not for this one. i didn't think it would be a problem. i wasn't planning on a shirt, so i brought just $20 for the entry fee. well, there was a bit of inflation overnight, and the race-day registration had been hiked up to $30. geeez. the registration girl said "we are just reeeeaaallly trying to discourage same-day registration." understandable. i totally agree. but...i don't have enough money!!! so i had to make a mad dash to find an ATM. clock is ticking now...this is why i like my cushion!
i didn't think it would be terribly difficult to find a bank or gas station ATM. ha.
gas station one: large ATM HERE sign. doesn't work. it wasn't even turned on.
gas station two: clerk says "sorry, there is no money in that right now." i ask her where i can find another one. "uuummmmm, wells fargo bank is just around the corner, but they just closed down...." ????? ok, now what.
gas station three: "out of order" sign on the ATM. seriously?!?! i am beginning to sense a sabotage. so i am standing in the middle of the gas station about ready to bag it all, when a miracle walked through the door. my dad. what the?!?! i wonder if i am actually awake yet. the whole situation is feeling like a crazy race dream.
i look at him like "what are you doing here?" and he looks at me like "what are you doing here?" i explain my situation and he bails me out with a $20. i am stressed now and in a huge hurry, but we had a good laugh. crazy thing is he was just on a random coffee stop. he told me he hadn't been to this particular gas station in years, but just happened to stop in today. so funny. and a bit freaky.
anyway, i should probably move on to the actual race. i made it back to the park and had about 20 min. to warm-up. i crossed paths with julie (julieC) on my warm-up. yaaayyy! i finally got to meet her today! feeling good after the warm-up. head to the start line.
splits: 5:24, 6:03, 6:32
mile 1: downhill. i started out fast but in control. mary ann is in the race, though i can't see her ahead. we get to the bottom of the hill and make a turn. that's when i start hearing breathing. i can tell it's a female. it's mary ann. i don't look back, but i can just assume. then someone in the crowd says "go mary ann!" yup. it's her. we have a race.
mile 2: this one seemed long. i was waiting for mary ann to make a move, then i wanted to see if i could hold on to her for as long as possible. she is still just behind me. our breathing was opposite. she breathed out when i breathed in and vice versa. this may sound weird, but the sound pattern this created kind of got me into this rhythm. i became super-focused and that was the only sound i could hear. it was kind of intense. we ran past the cemetery and made another turn. that's when i see the 2 mile mark. finally. that was a long one!
mile 3: very tired. very dry mouth. quite uncomfortable. mary ann is still right there with me. i don't think i have enough left if this comes down to the wire. what helped me out mentally on this mile was the "one mile to go" and "1/2 mile to go" signs. it didn't ease the fatigue, obviously, but gave me a mental boost that i could hang on. final turn and then the straightaway to the finish. mary ann is still right there, but i sense she is not as close anymore.
finish clock is now in view. 17:40. i am feeling pretty crappy but i can't let this effort go to waste. a shot for sub-18. don't let this slip away! i speed up as much as possible, which isn't much, but hopefully enough to get there. 17:55, 56, 57, 58, 59. i saw the clock change to 59 right as i was crossing the line. was it enough? i stop my watch. 18:01. DANG.
official results clocked me in at 17:59.2. i'll take it. i am keeping in mind that this isn't a completely honest time due to the downhill in the first mile. however, i think even with the adjustment it is a PR. and if i base it completely off effort, i can guarantee this is the most effort by far that i have put into a 5K since high school, and possibly ever.
i was able to talk to mary ann and julie for awhile as we waited for the awards. i couldn't believe mary ann was already recovered from the marathon last week. so tough! and the results of julie's race are of course for her own report, but can i just say that she is one awesome runner, and super friendly as well.
so, a crazy start to the morning, but somehow it all worked out. now i owe my dad a really really big father's day present.
9 miles at a medium-hard effort. i intentionally waited until 1 pm to run so that i could get out in the heat. :)
i ran a hilly loop around SLC, including a loop around sugarhouse park. surged on all the uphills and downhills, and relaxed on the flats.
this is going to be a fairly easy week for me as i get ready for the DEVIL race on saturday. my run today was kind of a simulation of this race...except on saturday it should be about 30 degrees hotter.
i am really trying to focus on getting more sleep. these past two weeks have been horrendous at work, but luckily right now i am on my 3 week "summer break". when the next quarter begins, i will only be teaching two days a week instead of five, and i will no longer be teaching night classes. this should be good.
10 miles easy. my legs felt a little drained from the hills yesterday. i don't think i ate enough after my run...muscles just kind of felt depleted. still enjoyed the heat though. and i almost got hit by a backhoe carrying a bunch of tree branches. not my fault, i swear! :)
alright, here is the breakdown of the race i am running on saturday:
running with the devil 1/2 marathon in boulder city, NV (30 min. outside of las vegas in the mohave desert near lake mead) race starts at 12 noon, temperatures expected to be 110-115 degrees F.
Times from last year:
Top 3 overall male 2008
1 - 1:34:28
2 - 1:34:52
3 - 1:49:03
Top 3 overall female 2008
1 - 1:54:20
2 - 2:31:21
3 - 2:34:49
time goal: i am not sure how i will react to the heat and the hills, but looking at the times from last year it seems to take its toll on the runners. i would think that setting a goal of under two hours would be realistic, but i just don't know until i run the course and see how it plays out. that is what i am shooting for. i figure the heat can't be too much worse than some of the snowy arctic storms we ran through this past winter. particularly the striders 1/2 in the torturous bone-chilling wind. the heat will be a welcome change.
travel day. i left SLC at 7 am and made it to boulder city around 3 pm. lots of driving but luckily the weather was kind...clouds and rain...so no over-heating of my jeep :)
stopped in st. george and did a very short and easy 3 miler just to wake up and get the blood moving in my legs again. there was TONS of traffic coming into vegas. yuck. that was the only bad portion. otherwise the drive was very pleasant. i almost made it through an entire audiobook - anthony bourdain's "kitchen confidential"
i am staying in the swanky hacienda hotel about 30 miles outside of las vegas. it overlooks lake mead, so it's a pretty view, but otherwise it is in the middle of NOWHERE! only restaurant around is the hotel's heart attack buffet. looks like i will be living off larabars and bananas for the next two days. :)
Running with the Devil 1/2 Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:54:12, Place overall: 2
Marathon Pace Miles
VO2 Max Miles
ouch. this race took so much out of me. heat. and a nasty convection-oven-like wind. and RELETNLESS hills. the course was out-and-back. hill after hill after hill. and i started out WAY too fast..........
pre-race: arrived at 11 am for weigh-in and ice-down.everyone seemed much more geared up than me. sun-suits, crazy hats, ice bandanas, ice head bands, etc. where did they get all this stuff ? i had on my regular racing clothes and a water bottle. oh, and winter-white skin. yep, you could tell i was an out-of-towner and a newbie. the RD was so funny. she was dressed like the devil and was wearing bib #666.
noon: race starts. i take off way too fast. i blew the race right here. 6:52 for the first mile. HAHA. that was definitely my demise. at this point i was in third place; 1st female.
miles 2-5: i feel horrible already. i want to give out at mile 5. really i do.
mile 6: almost to the turn-around. there is an aid station so i stop. they refill my bottle with ice and i pour the whole thing over my head. then i drink some nasty HEED electrolyte drink. i eat some pretzels but then spit them out because i feel like i may puke. the saltiness was nice though. i leave with an iced towel over my head. this is when #2 girl (katie) catches up to me. she very much saved my life in this race.
miles 7-12: we hit the turn-around. i am running with katie. i find out she is from boulder city and she won the race last year. she is very nice and encouraging. just the fact that i have someone to talk to is wonderful. and its always better to feel crappy with someone else than to go at it alone. mile 9 -10 took forever. we stopped talking at this point. we were both running with our heads down just trying to survive. the aid station was at mile 10 and i have never wanted to stop so bad in my life. we drank some more HEED, dunked out clothes in the ice tanks, took some more ice towels, and got another bottle refill. this was the last aid to the end of the course, so i wanted to be sure i had enough water in me to make it to the end.
mile 12.5: i really feel like i am on the verge of collapsing. sounds pathetic, i know, but i was feeling really really really bad. my HR was through the roof, and i was running 8:45 miles. not a good sign. i also started to get the chills---also not a good sign in the heat. my hands were so shaky that i could no longer get water from my bottle into my mouth.
i was still running with kaite when we came upon this guy who had collapsed. medical help was there, but he was in bad shape. they had put an IV in his arm and it was all bloody. it was when i saw this that i kind of panicked. i came here to run a race and take a nice trip. not die. ok, maybe that is dramatic, but still, i was way spooked when i saw that guy. at this point i fell off pace and let katie go. it was no longer worth it to me. i am just glad i could run with her for the second half of the race. i am not sure i would have made it otherwise.
13 - 13.1: longest .1 miles in the history of the universe. i was completely delerious when i crossed the line. i started rambling something about being cold to the guy who was removing my chip. i assure you i was not cold.
post race: talked with katie for awhile. we were both in bad shape. her voice was all shaky and she seemed out of it. we poured ice water all over ourselves multiple times. i hate being wet, especially when it's with ice water! but this never felt so good to me.
so, a few lessons learned: the heat is REAL and it DOES affect race performance a TON. i started way too fast---no respect for the heat or the brutality of the course. but it came back to bite me.
we were required to have 20 oz. of water at all times. it drove me crazy to carry the bottle and it drove my stomach crazy that i kept drinking. if i am going to come to a race that has rules like this, i should probably train appropriately so that i am used to it.
overall, i am happy i did the race. it was fun in its own torturous kind of way and i met a lot of interesting and kind people. will i do it again? probably not. i don't know if i have the guts to put myself through that again. it was a different kind of fatigue and a different kind of pain than i have ever experienced before while racing. and it was very tough for me mentally. i had a harder time in this race than in most of the marathons i have run. the only exception is my extreme crash and burn at TOU 2007. otherwise, this race is at the top of the list, and it was only a half!
i decided to bail out of my hotel early last night. left boulder city at about 9:30 pm and drove to st. george. slept in my car for about 3 hours, then continued on the rest of the way home. driving through central utah usually isn't that exciting, but it was very, very beautiful at dawn. the drive was very relaxing---temps were nice and cool and there were hardly any cars on the road at all. made it back home at about 9 am. just enough time for a nap and a shower and i will be able to make it to church by 11. hopefully i can stay awake!
my face and arms are completely scorched. ouch. otherwise no residual soreness from the race. just stiffness and butt fatigue from driving.
PM: relaxed bike ride around SLC and liberty park. not as crowded as it usually is on sundays. nice.
i ran around SLC like a grandma. i am not really sore--- my legs just feel depleted. i tried pushing the pace a bit at one point when i thought i was feeling good, but sadly, there was no power. the real soreness is in my back --- sleeping in a car isn't good for backs.
hopefully i can get some life back into my legs, as these next two weeks are pretty crucial for training. i need to hit it hard and get some good MP workouts and long runs in. in three weeks i will have a nightmare week, and training is probably going to suffer a bit for a few days---seminar in logan every day from 8-12 then back to SLC to work from 2-9. it will be rough for both running and sleep. then the week after that is taper for DesNews on friday...
aside: i think i may have convinced my new friend/rival/friendly rival katie to come run TOU in september. she is looking to run a fall marathon so i couldn't resist putting in a plug for it. hopefully she will come out and add to the race. so far it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. and if mary ann decides to do it then it will be even more wild and crazy. i know it is still months away, but i am quite excited for this race.