Sep 30, 2009

revising goals

The past couple weeks have been a challenge for me both physically and probably more mentally. It all started with a twinge in my right shin after a recovery week run that never went away or got better the last couple of weeks. First I got some xrays that showed no problems but after still feeling pain on a test run last week my coach was able to get me a appointment with a great ortho - Dr Marla Kaufman at the UW on Friday. She set me up to get an MRI on Saturday morning - which I have to say was one of the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I am not good at being still - all I wanted to do was wiggle my toes. I had to wait till Monday for the fallow up and find out the results. So I spent the rest of teh weekend trying not to think about it.

I spent the rest of the day Saturday on my bike and had so much fun I just kept ridding until I got hungry and had Kyle meet me at the dairy freeze in North Bend so that my scheduled 3 hour ride did not turn in to 6 hours...

Mid ride I decided to fallow some route markings just to see where they went.

Happened to find some members of "The Herd" and rode with them for :30 or so

View from the bridge on Tolt Hill Road

The old trains in Snoqualmie WA

In North Bend, WA

Sunday we went up to Widbey and while the guys went fishing I rode support for my Mom during her long run (13.5 miles) and she did so great. Made me so proud she is my Mom and how healthy she is at 59 years young :)

The guys caught 2 Coho Salmon - Jerry showing them off.

Kyle & I enjoying the sun

The weekend was so much fun it was not till Monday morning when I talked to Kainoa before the start of masters swim that it kind of hit me. She mentioned that Nike might just not happen... My heart seriously dropped to my feet. I knew that was an option just had not really heard it or said it out loud. The rest of the swim workout and the morning till my appointment at 11:20a I was completely distracted and so nervous for the results.

I was beyond relived when I finally got to find out that the MRI showed no signs of a stress fracture or any tearing in the tissue. Dr Kaufman walked me through all the images from the MRI and what she would be looking for and did not see. Then we talked about next steps. I got a prescription for Physical therapy and massage. I would need to do ice massage twice a day, deep water running, the exercises from PT, keep my fitness up with cross training and at the same time rest my shin. She told me the Nike marathon was still a big maybe and all depended on how things improve or not in the next couple of weeks... Afterwards I talked with Kainoa and she agreed still not sure if a marathon was really an option at this point but agreed to see what Jake (my PT) said about it.

So yesterday I had PT - Jake thinks that as I thought probably running with bad form on my last long run took my shin over the edge in combination with my right hip could still be stronger and lack of flexibility in my feet (especially my right). He also said that if I threw out all my time goals and wanted to still finish the marathon I could probably do that... But that it would probably require a walk/run plan to prevent any pain... hmmm

It was really hard I already gave up on a Boston qualifying time last week after I had to take 2 full weeks off running.. But a walk/run marathon with no time goal at all will be a HUGE mental challenge for me. I am MUCH better at pushing myself and going hard then at going easy and being smart.

If it were any other race I would probably say screw it and not do it but this race means a lot to me. I talked my Mom into doing it as her first half marathon on her 60th birthday. Yeah I know it is more about her doing it but it was meant to be something we both did together. Not to mention I really don't like the idea of not doing a race I signed up and spent money on - I also want the Tiffany necklace and always need another finishers shirt.

So goodbye Boston (for now) and lets just hope I can start running soon so I don't have to do to much walk/run stuff on race day. I'll do it if I have to but would much rather just run even if it is slower than I had been training for before this whole thing started. The new goal is just to be able to run...

Sep 23, 2009

the sweet smell of chlorine before dawn

This morning like most Wednesday mornings I headed to masters swim - it is never easy getting up at 5am but I am so glad I did. Since my shin issue is still on the mend I have missed my hard runs of late and in general getting my heart rate up and work hard. So when I saw the workout this morning I was so happy. There was some steady stuff but there was also 8 x 50 kick hard - oh how I LOVE kicking. It felt soooo good to use my legs and really helped loosen them up after not doing much the last week.
Then after some easy stuff the main set was 16 x 100 with odds hard/fast and evens easy and even better fallowed by 8 x 50 with odds hard/fast and evens easy. I could not wait to push myself, go all out and breath hard.
Ok so the only weird thing about masters for the last month is there is a guy in my lane that seems to have the hardest time not being the fastest. He makes these comments about oh "I don't want to hold you up" but then always wants to lead even when he says he is slow. Drives me crazy. I have worked really hard the past year and have finally gotten stronger and faster to be able to on most occasions to be able to lead (as long as Cathleen is in the next lane faster lol). It just seems to really bother him when I lead or probably more accurately when he is not leading. Sorry dude but leave your ego on the deck this is masters there is always some one faster then you. Seriously cracks me up every time.
So back to the swimming I start the first set of 4 (broke the 16 down by 4 sets of 4 to keep track easier). The first hard 100 was wonderfully hard I could feel my heart rate go through the roof, I had to focus, and it just felt challenging. I managed a 1:30 100 yrds :) which is really good for me.. next up easy recovery.. then another hard effort just as much fun as the 1st and again I hit 1:30 wooo hoo..
Then this guy offered to lead.. fine what ever I will give him a couple extra second head start. So it was not as hard an effort for me especially since in no time I was right on his feet drafting. Once he starts leading it is hard to get him to let anyone else lead so I had to give him more and more space to start so that I could still have a hard effort. Pour Laurie was great at staying on my feet through the entire set. But all in all it was so much fun to swim hard.
The final set was 8 x 50 odds hard and even easy and I took back the lead (Laurie was done for the day). So the last couple short hard efforts were wonderfully challenging especially at the end of about 3000 yrds.
I finished up the morning with a couple minutes in the hot tub stretching while eating a pumpkin muffin Laurie brought and talking with Loree, Laurie and Kainoa. So glad I got up before dawn to swim :)

Sep 17, 2009

it is all about the legs

*Waring this blog post is the result of not having 2 workouts everyday which results in my ADD side coming out and spending to much time with my iPhone camera

It feels like this week I have spent more time focusing on recovery then actually working out or running. My legs and body were a bit achy after the run on Sunday so on Monday I even broke out the compression socks at work even though I wore a skirt to work. I swear it is the hottest fall fashion trend for 2009.

My only run so far this week was Monday night. I did hill repeat run - 3 x 1 mile - hard effort on the down and steady on the way up. Luckily I live on the top of a mile long hill and even more lucky Kyle agreed to ride with me in the dark. I did a :20 warm up and my right calf had a small tinge and my right hamstring was sore. I moved past it and it really forced me to focus on good form on the down hills so I did not make it hurt more.

Check out the elevation profile.

The funny thing that happened was that as my down hills got slower my uphills got faster and my heart rate never really got as high as I thought it would be. I was pretty tired to start but I was so happy I did it. I felt strong and was really happy with my effort. Afterwards I stretched out and had a small dinner before passing out and going to bed early.

I was not surprised at all that I was very sore on Tuesday morning. I mean I ran hard 2 days in a row. But I was annoyed that tinge in my right calf was still there. I managed to get through my strength workout but went very very easy on my legs. Actually I mostly stretched and did not of the exercises from when I was getting PT.

So on Wednesday morning when I saw Kainoa at Masters swim we chatted about the runs and she pulled my track workout from my training. I was actually pretty bummed. I was like wait wait it is not that bad no I can do it. lol Yeah this is exactly why I have a coach to tell me to stop and not over do it. She told me making sure I am ready for my 20 miler on Saturday is way more important then the track workout. Especially since the last 5 miles I need to run some negatives down all the way to 7:45 m/mi. So I got over it and let go of the idea of running a hard/fun track workout.

This is where it hurt.. (this is what happens when I loose focus in a 5 hour meeting)

Since I had no track workout to do in the evening I came home, had dinner and spent some quality time with trigger point to try and help loosen my legs up. (I fallowed this by falling asleep on the floor at 8:30p because I swear it felt like midnight)

Luckily this morning I had my weekly pilates session with Iron Monique and she said she would also do some ART massage to help me get past this tight calf/shin thing. As expected the ART hurt but she defiantly got a few ropes in my calf loosened up :) I have spent the rest of the day in my compression socks (I wore pants to work at least so I did not look to dorky).
Fingers crossed. I'm actually not that worried it does feel better but I am still wearing compression socks.

Tomorrow morning I have an open water swim and then it is all about getting ready for the 20 miler on Saturday morning (well I have to go to work to). Just have to decide on a good route with an easy last 5 miles so I can push I pace... ????

Sep 13, 2009

recovery week

I was soo glad to have a recovery week. My legs have felt tight and kind of achy all week. I have spent more time with my foam roller & Trigger point this week than in a long time. My legs are slowly excepting their fate of many many miles of running. Since it was a recovery week I had a recovery run on Monday & I only had to do 3 miles of tempo on Wednesday instead of 6 like last week. On Friday my legs did not feel great and I felt tired so Kainoa even let me cancel my "recovery" run. So I got lots and lots of rest and recovery which was wonderful.

Even my weekend long run was "only" 13 miles at steady aerobic pace in zones 3A-3B. Haha yeah I am not so good at just steady aerobic pace. I lost track of the day on Saturday so after a 1:40 team bike ride & Starbucks of course. I decided rather then run a mostly flat course from Leshi I wanted to run the Mercer Island half marathon course in the middle of the day. Note that our fall cool weather is gone and it was over 80 °F the last couple of days. Though Kyle did agree to ride sherpa for me so I had 2 full bottle of liquid (1 plain water, 1 gatorade) and he carried my gels so how bad could it be right.. When I started getting ready i could not find my iPod for the life of me so i told Kyle he had to talk more (I know as if that is really a problem for Sir Talk's a lot).

When I started I was mostly annoyed with a little tinge in my right calf/shin. Overall I felt pretty good and as usual I went out a bit fast. Partly because I only seem to have 2 gears - hard or easy. so i went hard and mile 1 was 7:32, 2 was 7:55, 3 was 7:43, 4 was 7:52 and at this point Kyle was like um slow down you are running way harder then you need to.. So 5 was 7:57. He was great, handed me the water bottle every half mile and my gels at mile 3, 6 & 10 all the while reminding me to breath and relax ect. He even managed to take some video of me running. I know exciting stuff lol.

The hills really got started around mile 6 so it became easier to slow my pace though not my effort (ran a 8:23).
My pace slowed but still kept my average pace well with in my goal of 8:20 m/mi. I was getting really hot and took a salt cap with my gel at mile 6 mark. I really wanted to pour my bottle of water on my head but I knew I would want to drink it more. I dug deep and got mile 7 down to 8:16. But then my stomach started to feel kind of sloshy and I was getting really really hot. There was no wind to help cool me off and less trees for shade :( Mile 8 was 8:31, 9 was 8:57.

Kyle tried to distract me by taking another video of me.

Mile 10 it really got hard. I ate a gel even though my stomach was not happy, my legs felt like cement and my time showed it - 9:23 ouch there goes 8:20 over all pace. I tried my best to get back after it and use some of the downhills but I had a hard time staying on my toes and was slapping my feet to much. I just wanted to be done and started thinking about a lovely ice bath and a slurpee of all things. Well really anything cold sounded good. Mile 11 was back to 8:15 but then 12 was 9:50 because I actually walked a few steps up a hill... At least mile 13 I stayed after it and did my best to just get it done so 9:15 was an improvement. I managed to run up the final hill to the finish line and wound up running 13.18 miles in 1:51:34 that is 8:27 m/mi average pace.

I was just glad to be DONE with it. Well actually I was pretty bummed that I fell apart the last 3 miles especially. Usually I'm pretty good at finishing strong but I just did not have it. It is weird to think that it felt like my 20 miler was easier than "just" 13 mile run this week.

After a :20 min ice bath and coke slurpee I feel better about the run. I was pretty bummed right after but oh well it is just a training run and it will just make me stronger in the end. I'm spending the rest of the night up with my compression socks on, feet up and focusing on recovery so that I can be ready for this coming week. Lets just say it is the opposite of a recovery week... I love a good challenge ;)

One last thing after completely emptying my tri bag and making a huge mess.
I found my iPod and what a shock I had it the whole time. It was in the phone pocket on the strap.. doh

Sep 5, 2009

20 mile run

To be completely honest I was a bit nervous about this long run all week. I was not really sure where to run and how it would go since it was so long after a full week with lots of running already. Last night I prepped and planned. Kyle had offered to ride support for me but he had to work ski bonkers around 10 am and to be honest I wanted to sleep in so I decide I would do 2 loops of a 10 mile route. I needed/wanted hills so I figured out how to make my 7 mile hill loop into 10 miles and then I would be able to refill my hand bottle and grab more Gu.

Elevation of the full 20 mile route

Now compare to the Nike Marathon Elevation (see why I wanted to make sure I ran some hills)

In the morning I kind of stalled even more, took my time getting everything ready and waited for my breakfast to digest a bit. Really I was just nervous and unsure if I could really run as fast as I wanted to.

First I had to put enough music on my iPod Shuffle to get me through the run. I wore my favorite Sugoi tri shorts (shorty short 4") that I have worn so much they so broken in/comfortable but still stay in place and a Sugoi fizz tank. I also decide to run no socks because the last time I wore socks I got more blisters than when I went without (I know seems weird to me to). I made sure to use TONS of bodyGlide on my feet and where the Fizz tank always seems to chaff under the arm (sorry but stupid place for a seem). I thought it was cold so I grabbed arm warmers but with in a mile I was burning up and they went in the pocket. I even remembered to weigh myself - 133lbs pre run. As far as nutrition went for the first loop I had a plain Gu at mile 2, 5, 7, 10. I would have liked to have gatorade but my hand bottle does not seem to seal anymore and it makes my hand sticky so I went with plain water. I also took 3 sportlegs and 1 salt cap.

Finally around noon I got my butt out the door and started running.

The first couple of miles I realized it was not that cold and it actually was warm and rather muggy. My legs felt pretty good but i had a hard time finding the right rhythm. To be honest my head was not in the best place today. I had a very hard time trusting myself and just running. I kept over thinking everything and almost running scared that I would not run fast enough. So the entire run I was fighting myself and my legs. I knew I wanted to run the 10 mile loop in about 1:25ish. As always I went out very strong running sub 8 min mile pace and slowed to about 8:30 pace on the hills. I was very happy when I finished 10 miles at 1:22:11 ahead of my goal time :)

My personal aid station.

I emptied my pocket of wrappers and grabbed the rest of the Gu's I needed for miles 12, 15, 17. Drank some Gatorade Endurance, refilled my hand bottle with water. Took 2 salts because I was sweating so much - I felt like I had gone for a swim I was so sweaty. I also decided to put on a very thin pair of socks because a spot on my left heal felt like it might have been forming a blister.. Of course I also had to txt Kyle and let him know I was half way and post it on twitter/Facebook (yes I am a super dork). I joked with Kyle if it was ok if I could take a nap before doing the 2nd loop... It really was very tempting.

Once I was refilled I was back running in a couple minutes (yes I stopped the watch/garmin since it is just a training run). The first couple of miles my legs did not want to run as fast as before but at least they stayed under my goal pace. As expected the 2nd loop was harder. I started to feel more tired though my legs actually still felt pretty good and continued to the rest of the run which was wonderful. At this point my entire take was sweated through and I'm sure all the people staring at me were wondering how I could sweat so much when it was not that hot.
Since my legs actually felt pretty good I managed to keep pace with the first loop and actually ran the hills a couple of seconds faster. Though I to do that I had to yell at myself a bit more. I was glad I wore a bracelet from the IMC crew that said "Toughen the Fuck up" and I repeated that to myself a lot, that and "pick up your feet", and generally tried to think of what Kyle would tell me if he was there. I would have also expected my heart rate to go up because I felt like I was having to work harder but actually it stated about the same..

The last mile is flat and I pushed myself to make sure I made my goal time. Now saying that I am horrible at math so I finished the 20 miles at 02:44:07 (4 whole minutes ahead of my goal time). The last mile I ran in 7:41 lol. No surprise as soon as I got to my drive way I just laid down and stayed there for about 10 minutes (or so it felt). I only got up because Toko (my cat) was meowing so much from the window. So i moved inside to the living room floor, laid down a towel and proceeded to fall asleep for an hour or so. I blame Toko because he curled up next to me and just purred.

Eventually i woke and txt Kyle - he had already txted me asking if I was done yet. oops Eventually I got up and weighed myself - 131 lbs post run (lost only 2 lbs). Then I had my favorite recovery drink of strawberry Recoverite and chocolate milk and Kyle brought home 2 bags of ice for me to take an ice bath :)

So some overall lessons.. Trust my legs and relax about times/pace I can do it - no need to run scared. It is not arm warmer time yet. BodyGlide is a good thing because I got no chaffing or blisters :) My nutrition went really well plain Gu and 1 Roctain Gu half way for some extra caffeine. I need to continue to work on my pacing I seem to go out pretty harder then I need to. It is defiantly time to wash my Newton shoes they smell HORRIBLE and even made the socks I put on dirty. At this point I need to just keep after it - I am getting stronger and within my goal pace for the race in October.
Finally my reward a yummy Trophy cupcake called snowball (Toko thought he should get some to).

Sep 2, 2009

running running running

It really started a couple weeks ago. As all my training partners/friends started tapering for Ironman Canada I started ramping up up my running. I no longer had excuse to go for 100 mile rides and started running 35 miles a week...
Every week my long runs have increased by 2 miles - 14 miles, 16, miles, 18 miles and this week I have 20 (ouch).
The 16 miler actually went REALLY well. I ran on Friday night so I could ride a little bit on the weekend since I kind of miss my bike. Anyway I ran an 8 mile route with lots of hills twice with the goal of running the second loop at the same time as the first.
Check out those hills lol
The only thing was that my legs felt so good that I went out a bit faster than I had expected so the second loop I had to did pretty deep but I love that i was able to run 16 miles in 02:10:12 which is a shocking Avg Pace of :08:08 min/mi. I had just hoped for a 8:30 pace.

For my 18 mile run we were in Penticton for Kyle to do Ironman Canada so on Saturday morning I got up before sunrise and ran from Skaha lake to te turn around in Okangan Falls. I was lucky because Kyle's Dad (Tom) offered to ride support for me so I only carried a small hand bottle to keep my mouth wet or eventually pour on my head.
It is not the easiest run but I have become a fan of hills ;) I remember it being a pretty course. My legs felt a bit stiff/heavy after the long drive, my run earlier in the week and just being on my feet a lot so I decided I would just run my zones 3A-3B heart rate and see what happened.
As I expected I was not as peppy and averaged 08:58 min/m pace but I felt good and I was able to bring my speed up the last mile or so even though my right hamstring started to clench up a bit. I have found that when it hurts I actually can dig pretty deep and actually run faster. I guess I'm just more motivated to be done sooner.
The official turn around :)
I also added a little bit extra milage because I NEEDED a restroom at the turn around and the one's in the park were still closed. Some nice guys let me use the one in their office.
It was also funny we did not see anyone out until I was a couple miles on the way back into Penticton. Then it was tons of athletes riding the run course in the aero helmets and few other crazy people running.
Once Kyle woke up he rode out with some more cold water and gatorade which was so wonderful since some cloud cover was holding in the heat from teh day before and I was getting toasty and low on fluids. So he also helped keep me going strong the last couple miles. Also took a couple pics the last mile :)
In all I kept my average heart rate around 170 bpm (zone 3a) and ran 18 miles in 02:41:25 (I did shuffle another half mile or so but turned off my garmin).

So that has been the long runs but this week Kainoa added in a tempo run of 6 miles at 7:30-7:35 min/mile plus a warm up and warm down.. My legs hurt after driving for 2 days so I took a long nap, got a massage and made the call (with permission of course) to postponed it till today. So I started with a fairly flat 2 mile warm up at an 8 mile pace then headed onto my favorite hilly 6 mile loop. yeah i know I could have chosen an easier rout but i keep telling myself I like hills. I worried all day that I would not be able to run the goal pace but low and behold I kept after it and hit the 6 mile mark at 43:58.. woo hoo that is 7:20 pace!!! for 6 miles. So much for 7:30 pace ;)
Of course a couple minutes into my warm down my garmin died (I forgot to charge it) but I just rand the same 2 miles I did to warm up and maintained a 8:00 pace :)

And with that my legs get tomorrow to rest up for guess what another run on Friday and Saturday lol. Bring it on I'm loving it - esp the hills ;)