Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Uff + August in Review

This morning I rolled out of bed ready to take on my last "tough" training run before the half.  I had a tempo run on deck, and if my memory serves me correctly, the last one sucked.  I checked the weather and was pleased with the mid-70s and glossed over the fact that the humidity was 100%.  My eyes must've been tired because ZOMG 100% HUMIDITY, IMMA GONNA DIE.  RIP JERBEAR.

It was kind of cool running through the dense fog in the fact that you felt like you were the only person on the planet.  It was not cool in that it.... was.... not cool.  Icky.  The air was thick.  I've learned to start my tempo runs on the slower side so my heart rate doesn't shoot through the roof, and attempted to do the same today after my warm up mile. 

I'm not sure if it was the fog or what, but my garmin was all over the place with my pace.  Not so much the first mile, but definitely in the second mile.  Granted my pace is not spot on, but I toggled between 7:47 to 8:30.  I really couldn't find a "groove."  I was ready to throw in the towel on mile 4, hense my crappy split, and then tried to push it the final mile, but really that kind of sucked too.

I did 7 miles in 1:01:15 for a pace of 8:45.  My tempo miles were, 8:16, 8:27, 8:28, 8:37, 8:21.

I'm a bit concerned because this pace is closer to the pace I planned to run for the half, but I had hoped to run it without feeling like my heart is going to explode.  :/  It's been a while since I've done a speed workout in THAT intense of humidity, so I forget (or perhaps blacked it out of my mind) if the humidity really affects the heart rate that much, or if I just suck and should stop running :P  Naturally, instead of giving me any semblance of confidence, I'm now 1000% freaked about the race and my goal time. 

BRB in the midst of a runner's panic attack!

August In Review

Total Miles: 114.5 down from 131.1  last month. (115.9 miles from August 2010.)  Somewhat annoyed with myself for skipping so many runs when I was in Alabama, especially since my back was all out of whack the next week.  Oh well that's life. :)
Total Time: 18:04:30 down from 20:54:08 last month. (18:22:53 last August.)
Total Runs: 19 for an average of 6.02/run.
Highest weekly mileage:
8/1/2011 — 8/7/2011:39.0 Mi6:12:38

Favorite run: The hilly run where I ran to Kyle's softball game.  It was nice and cool and felt fabulous out, and I wasn't a sweaty mess when I arrived at the game.
Most hardcore run:  Meh, this morning's *should've* been hardcore.
Favorite race: The CMN State-A-Thon 5k.  PR PARTY/SMART RACE/WHOOT!
Bike Miles: Another goose egg.
Favorite Jams: I downloaded 3 new songs to listen to on my tempo run this morning, and my stupid iPod claimed they were loaded but it lied.  Maybe THAT'S why the run was so poor.  ;)  One was Nicki Minaj's Super Bass, I can't remember the other two.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Advanced Marathoning + It Only Hurts When I Breathe

I've been running for...awhile now, but I still consider myself a newbie runner, especially when it comes to 26.2.  There is just so much about the marathon that I don't yet understand, and that's probably why I keep coming back for more.  I'm that kid who would work on a story problem without coming up for air until it was solved, all nice and tidy like.

Luckily for me, I also like to read, so there is no shortage of information out there for me to learn by.  I'm also blessed to have some fasty fast friends who are much smarter when it comes to training for the 26.2 (and really just in training in general).

At the start of the year, I had skimmed through Pete Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning as an option for Fargo training.  I was intrigued but mostly scared, and moved along to some other marathon books.  A few weekends ago, I was riding a running high, and since I couldn't go on another run (yes, I was literally having one of those days, hate me if you wish) I decided to tuck in to my book.  Danielle had sent it to me when I was originally toying with the idea of a fall marathon.  Uh hi... that marathon is like in 8 weeks.  Shhhhhhhh don't tell my brain that.

Anywhosits, I felt like I was back in school all over again, which is great, since uh... I am! ..... taking notes, marking up the book!  (Sidenote:  I had such a hard time highlighting things in textbooks when I first started college.  "A marked up book is a sad book," my grandma used to tell me.)

I found some interesting gems that I thought I'd share.  Since everyone and their dog has probably read the book, you can probably skim over this, but it doesn't hurt to re-read and re-learn info.  :)

I love all the information about heart rate zones.  After Fargo, I got a heart rate monitor (from the insanely nice Tara, thanks again!) and have been paying attention to the zones I should be in based on the types of runs I was completing.  It was interesting to realize that without paying much attention to the HRM, I tended to be right in the middle of my range for my easy runs and long runs.  I also learned at the end of an interval workout that my puke threshold matches up pretty darn closely with my max heart rate.  Good to know!

One thing I am confused/intrigued by is the long run pace.  Pfitz states that your long runs should be 10-20% slower than your goal marathon pace.  Based on a marathon goal pace of 9ish, I should be running a pace of 9:50-10:40 on my long runs.  He also says that your heart rate should be 74-84% of max.  While my heart rate is within the appropriate range, my pace doesn't fall within that range.  Does that mean I get to be a faster marathon runner?!?!?  Ok then... done.

Another note in regards to heart rate is your range for the actual marathon.  While Pfitz says 79-88% of your max heart rate, I'm guessing this is skewed towards someone who is faster than I am.  What would be a better goal/range/estimate for someone in the 3:45-4 hour range?

Overall I don't feel there was a whole lot of new information (other than HR, since I know very little about that) but was nice to reaffirm some information I learned the hard way, such as don't run your long runs at marathon goal pace!  I did this, and struggled in my first marathon after the 3 hour point because that's as long as I spent on my feet during my longest long runs.  Also, reaffirmed the statement, "you have to run slow to run fast."  Which I always thought was a bunch of hoopla.  :P

You can make a lot of mistakes in training for a half marathon and shorter distances, and still do great.  The marathon seems to be a very precocious beast that I have yet to master... maybe some of this info will help!

Any other great running/racing/marathoning books that I should read?
This weekend I was convinced I was dying.  I went for an easy paced run Friday after work, and I thought my lungs were going to explode.  It felt like I was gasping for air and that my lungs were the size of an unblown up balloon.  Luckily after the first 25-30 minutes it let up and I was able to continue without dying.  But I still didn't feel great.

Saturday I woke up and struggled to breathe and was convinced I was sick with some sort of allergies.  I rested and missed out on seeing KK in a penguin suit at a wedding, :(  but I was determined to be healthy and ready to take on my 8-10 mile run on Sunday with 6 at tempo.  Within the first couple of miles I knew something was up.  I was doing my warm up (roughly the 9:50s) and my heart rate was hovering around 175.  To give you an idea of where my heart rate should be, I usually try to keep it below 155 for easy runs/long runs.  During my 5k RACE two weekends ago, it maxed at 177.  Uh...yeah.  That's not normal.

I decided to head for home and struggled to keep from having my heart explode (or so it felt).  I was getting light-headed and nauseous from not taking in enough oxygen.  I took a few walk breaks and brought my pace down suuuuuuuper low.

When I woke up this morning, I finally noticed a pain in between my shoulder blades.  My breathing was still messed up, so I decided to suck it up and head to the chiro.  Nothing against chiros, but my health insurance suckkkkkks so a 10 minute session is $90.  Uff.  Turns out breathing is worth $90, especially when you have a goal race in 13 days.  She checked my alignment and immediately noticed that one hip is higher than the other.  Oh hai hip/piriformis/IT band/runner's knee issues!  Next she set to putting my back in to alignment.  She flipped me over and started pressing on my ribs, and it felt like she was poking me with a burning nail.  Apparently that means your ribs are out of place.  Three ribs later and I could breathe.  EEEEEEEEE! 

As soon as I got home I threw on my running clothes and headed out for a 6 mile run.  I was even able to do some 4x100 m pick ups at the end of the run.  I did 6 miles in 55:52 for a 9:19 pace.  4x100 m. 6:59, 7:03, 6:58, 6:55.  I randomly met up with another chica who was running my pace and had company for a mile.  She's running the Sioux Falls HM too and is looking to break 2 hours.  So fun!

And a random funny quip, I bought Kyle a sweet Alabama shirt when I was down south, and without realizing it, I bought myself the inverse of it.  When I realized my mistake, naturally I told him the shirts would be our "christmas card picture outfits!"  JK I don't do Xmas cards, but now I want to start.  After not seeing Kyle all weekend, he showed up at my apartment to take me out on a date, and **you've guessed it** TWINSIES!!!  I was the stubborn one, and made him change into a shirt that was in the back of his truck, man I'm bossy.  (he would agree).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School + Weekly Wistlist: Apartment/Home Edition

I will be the first to admit that I am terrible at decorating my casa.  I'd like to think that I have good taste, but since I rarely entertain it seems silly to spend the $$ on my apartment.  I mean... hello.... running shoes are expensive!  Anyway, I've been compiling this list for awhile now, and it's pretty much my dream place.  Hopefully the links are all still good!

My current bedroom is green (shocker!) but I love the soft whimsicalness of this pale yellow.  I had a yellow room growing up, but this is so much more chic.
Buy it here.

Buy it here. Painfully out of my price range, but I love the retro look, and obviously the color tones. #greenandyellow
Buy it here. I'm obsessed with book shelves (yet another shocker).  I love that this one doubles as shelves for books/nicknacks/ktochkes/whatevs.

Buy it here. In my world, these curtains totally "go" with the yellow bedding.  So we'll leave it at that, I guess.  Ignoring the fact that the window I have in my bedroom is ginormous and wouldn't fit this at all.

I am a faithful "fan on to block out the noise of life, all night long" sort of gal.  Have been since college and living in the loud ass dorms.  Eventually my beloved wind machine will die, and I would like one of these pretty lovelies.
Buy it here.

Speaking of home decorating, I actually got a chance to hang up some items in my apartment that I've had leaning against the walls for 2 years now.  Meh... good enough for me!  Kyle brought me over a desk to use for my online classes (rolltide!) and decided to bust out the hammer and help me out.  I was able to set up my little desk area, for the most part.  I have a few book-nerd-esque prints that I need to frame and hang.

He also hung up my sweet bib board that I've had done forever.  Seriously it's been done so long I have enough bibs to make #2.  I love seeing all the race bling hanging below it.

And finally, my gorgeous back to school bag gift from Jenn.  I heart her.  And this gorg bag.

I start classes tonight!  Good bye sanity and free time for the next 24 months.  ROLLTIDE!
Nerdy library shirt and librarian cardi...check!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More Addictions: Online Shopping (And a HM before work)

In lieu of a weekly wishlist a few weeks back, I actually indulged in a little retail shopping.  Usually my little "shopping" trips to find things for my post can curb my urge to spend the dollah dollah bills ya'll. Bahahahah I can't believe I just typed that, I'm so cool.  Anyway, I got an email from J Crew about free shipping and off I went.  I was stoke because usually J Crew is free shipping* (*on purchases $150+).  Well I never have $150 just a-lyin' around for online shopping purposes, so that does me no good.

Anyways, I picked up a few gems for about $20/piece!  I found a great grey long sleeve with adorable buttons on the shoulders (can't find a pic anymore, sorry), and also had an aqua in my "shopping cart" before it was no longer in stock.  Wah!  Oh well, saved me $12.  Then I had the hardest time deciding on a color in the cutest tank I've seen in a long time.  I enlisted some help from my twitter pals, and then did what I knew I'd end up doing all along, I bought them all!

There's also a navy blue one they no longer have the photo for. loooooooove.
One of the shirts whilst displaying my newfound Bama pride. :)

I have serious issues with buying things I love in bulk.  Nike tempo shorts.... I probably have 15.  Target v-neck shirt, at least 8.  If I find something I love, I stick with it.  And I love these tanks.  EEEEE!  Online shopping urge cured... for now.

Friday brought on an evening of no plans, and somehow my shopping "itch" just hadn't been cured completely.  I hit up the mall with some cute items in mind. Priority #1 was to find a dress for an end-of-summer wedding.  Why oh why is it that when you have money you're willing to part with for cute clothes, you can't find anything!?!??!  I always get money for Christmas/birthday and it never fails that I'm so over winter clothes that the money sits in savings waiting to be spent on race entry fees.

However, I did manage to snag the dress I've been coveting FOREVER from the Gap.  It was originally $70 and was listed at $35.  I knew I would need to take up the straps to get it to fit properly and didn't think that was cheap enough for the extra work I was going to have to put in.  Until the sales woman told me it was half price.  $17?  Yes, I can sew a few stitches for that.  And then I found a super cute neon awesomeness skinny belt for $5.  I almost got a crazy cute yoga bag, but I couldn't justify it.  Sad face.
I have been very hohum regarding running lately.  I seem to get in a funk after I have cutback weeks, and this last one was no different.  In case you missed it, I ran 7 of my 41 planned miles last week.  Yikes.  And I was not looking forward to running this week either.  Last night I asked Kyle if he'd be ok if I hung up my running shoes, and to my surprise he said no.  Whaaaaaa?  when I asked him to elaborate he said that I'm a much happier person when I'm running all the time.

Can I just say, 3 cheers to Kyle for learning proper phrasing in his responses?  What he meant was, "Please God NO!  You're a raging B without your daily running endorphines."  He's getting goooooooood, no?

Anyway, because of a crazy weekend with lots of plans and a Saturday shift at work (barf) I had to do my long run on Wednesday this week before work.  Luckily for me I don't work until 11am, and the temps were in the 70s.  YES!  I made myself get out there for my little half marathon before work, and whattaya know, I'm back in puffy heart love with running.

Is anyone else like this?  When I'm running 5-6 days a week I LOVE running.  Once I take a rest day, it's soooooooo hard for me to get out there the next day.  It's just obnoxious.

I did 13.1 miles in 2:05 something for a 9:35 pace.  Which is better than my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd half marathon times, in case you were keeping track at home.  ;)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kicking the Addiction

I am a television junkie.  I’m sure (unless you follow me on twitter and already know this information) you’re shocked.  I’m a booknerd.  How many booknerds are also tv junkies?  Truly I should clarify, I’m not just at television junkie, I’m a crappy reality tv show junkie.
It all started back in junior high when the Real World came out.  What a fab-o show right?  And then Road Rules which were… meh.  But then you put the casts together and make them compete?!?  Sweet Jesus we have reality tv show gold with the Challenge shows.
As a credit counselor, I am admittedly pretty good at handling my finances.  But given my propensity for shiny things (see:  weekly wishlists) and all things running and racing, it’s easy to spend a few dollars here and there x 10.  Going back to school has got me on edge about my finances slightly.  Yes, I’m taking out student loans to obtain my masters, but I’m also going to try to live as cheaply as possible in the next two years as well. 
After looking over my finances, I decided that races for the next couple of years would need to be on the cheaper side, both in frequency (last summer I raced 6 races in 6 weeks at probably $25-30 a piece), and travel expenses.  I usually do one big race (usually a marathon) a year:  2009 Dallas White Rock half and family visit, 2010 RnR Vegas Marathon (*cough*shitshow*cough*).
The other item I’m kicking out is my cable television.  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  And my beloved DVR.  This is going to feel like a divorce.  While I was pondering this last weekend, I wrote down a list of all the TV shows that I watch. In looking them up, all are either on hulu or the network's website.  To be honest, I probably won’t have time to watch much television while I’m trying to balance a crazy person’s life, but I will  miss my DVR 50% full waiting for me on a Friday night while I snuggle in to my green and white stripey sweats to see who’s bashing who on Real Housewives of whichever city.  Le sigh.
And just because it’s disgusting, here’s my full list of television shows I watch:
  • Real World/Road Rules Challenge shows
  • Real Housewives of OC, Beverly Hills, NJ, NY
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Glee
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Big Bang Theory
  • House
  • Top Chef and Just Desserts, no masters.
  • Weeds
  • True Blood
  • Jersey Shore
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia
  • The League
  • Project Runway
  • Dexter
  • Gossip Girl
  • Entourage
  • The Office
And when the TV schedule is slow I have been known to dabble in:
  • Toddlers and Tiaras
  • True Life
  • Bridezillas
  • Celebrity Rehab
I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that easily come to mind.

RIP trashy reality shows, and housewives of everywhere.
Last week I was in Alabama for grad school orientation [roll tide!], and I managed to run 0 miles.  Amazing, I know.  I'll shoot to do a recap at some point here.  I ran 5 miles yesterday before work, and apparently after 6 days of rest, that can cause you to be sore the next day.  Neat.  Hah.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Favorite

Happiest of 26th birthdays to Kyle, aka KK.  (Yes, I'm a cradle robber, please ignore this fact.)

Happy birthday to my favorite:
  • lefty
  • professional fisherman wannabe
  • LOST viewing partner
  • snorer/leg twitcher/sleep talker/general sleep time annoyance
  • non-runner (until I get my way, that is)
  • bear arms
  • nose bopper
  • tomato and sour cream hater
  • future pug owner
  • froyo date
  • Green Bay Packer good luck charm (even though he's a 9ers fan, GB didn't lose a game that I watched with him last season, hope your Sunday and some Monday schedules are cleared, KK!  Superbowl Champ repeat time!)

Hope you have the greatest birthday and the best year yet.

<3 Jerbear

Monday, August 15, 2011

Race Report: CMN SDSU State-a-thon 5k

My summer racing schedule has been lacking in a major way.  Last year I signed up for a ton of races, and ended up running a lot of 5ks in less than favorable conditions.  This year I decided that I would monitor the weather for the weekend before committing to any races.  Thank God I did.  We've had a miserable summer!  Except this past week.  And conveniently that was a cutback week.  I managed to find a close-to-home 1st annual 5k for $15 bucks.  Sweet!  I wrangled some runner friends together, and it was on.

The race had an 8:30 start, which would suck, normally, but it was 60* with a breeze.  Yeah, there was still 90% humidity, but whatever, I'm almost used to that now (gasp, I know!).  Tom, Brent, and I took off for a mile warm up and were all complaining about how crappy our legs felt all week long.  Neat!  This should be a fun race!

Looking back at previous 5k results, I saw that I always went out too fast in that first mile (7:30) and then bombed hard in mile two (8:00+).  My goal was to hold off a bit for the first mile, get mile two under 8 for the first time EVER in a 5k... yeah... wtf?  And then gun it as hard as I could for the remainder.

We lined up near the race "start" as there was no line.  The coordinator thanked us all for coming and in the same breath said, on your marks, get set go!  Uh....... ok.  Garmin START!

We started off in to the wind and I tucked in behind a couple of xc chicks.  I was sitting in 4th and made myself sloooooooooooooow down when I realized I was flying at a 7:12 pace.  Hi, this is the opposite of not going out too fast.  Apparently I settled in a bit too much, because my first mile split came in at 7:43.  Not bad, I was shooting for 7:39s.

Mile two I just kept pushing and keeping the two girls in my sights.  At some point a chick with a big black lab came flying by our group and I assumed she was just out for a training run, until I saw her turn around with the group at the halfway mark.  Great!  Apparently I'm in 5th not 4th.  Grrrrr.  At the halfway point I saw a PR was in the bag if I could hang on to my pace for the remainder of the race.  Shortly after the turn around I pass a dude, which made me happy.  Mile 2 7:49.  Sub 8 win.

Mile 3 I spend trying to catch up to the two girls in front of me.  It's dorky, but I kept repeating, "Are you going to settle for 5th or work your butt off for 3rd?!?!"  I hoped that I could get close enough that I could outkick them.  I started my kick with about 1/2 a mile to go, but just ran out of course to catch 'em with.  Prior to the race start, they had said there'd be a board to record race times, if you wished, and someone calling out finishing times at the finish, so there were neither.  I'd estimate I was 5-10 seconds behind the girls.  Mile 3 was 7:36.

I was bummed that there weren't official race times because I know that 3 of the girls weren't in their 20s.  Oh well, I'm happy enough with a smart, fast race.  I was 5th female, and 9th overall.  I'd estimate there were about 75 racers total.  Again no official numbers. :)

I finished in 23:09.  The race was a smidge short, which is a bummer, but it gives me a new time to shoot for the next 5k.

The one thing I found super interesting once I flipped through my garmin for the race data was that my heart rate wasn't anywhere near where I expected it to be.  I actually turned off the auto scroll (where the garmin toggles between heart rate screen and main screen) because I knew I would be terrified of the heart rate creeping closer and closer to my max heart rate.  I averaged a heart rate of 170 with a max of 175.  I expected to be tippie-toeing on 190.  Even my tempo runs have been maxing at 180-185 towards the end.  Maybe it was just the difference in cooler temps...... maybe I just didn't run hard enough.  Gaaaaaaaaah!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ZOMG Back to School

Attention everyone:  I become a grad student in a week.
In related news:  holy shit!
About a month back, Kyle and I were in Target when I happened upon their back to school display.  Instead of being annoyed about a back to school display in the middle of the summer, I instead freaked out and insisted on back to school shopping!  Every fall since I have been out of college I have been very jealous of everyone who was doing back to school shopping.  I heart school.  In other related news, I’m a nerd.
I’m in the process of getting everything ready to go for school, I found a desk (shopping in Kyle’s parents’ basement FTW!), bought a couple of prints from Nan Lawson of two of my favorite literary heroines to hang at my desk, along with some previous prints I had bought from her.  Bought some great colorful felt pens and highlighters.  You know…. All of the FUN stuff.



All of the important stuff is still on my “to-do” list, and last night it almost gave me a panic attack.  As of Wednesday night I still needed to:
  • Buy a headset (it’s online coursework after all)
  • Buy books for course #2 that were just given to us
  • Attend an hour session to make sure my computer is compatible with the software for classes
  • Buy a suitcase since mine broke on the way home from Vegasssssssssssssssss
  • Do laundry
  • Pack
  • Switch over car insurance
  • Cancel cable (since I’m quitting cable, I figure it’s smart that I don’t pay for the 6 days I’m out of town)
Not to mention that in my head I THOUGHT IT WAS THURSDAY.  And Kyle’s birthday is on Tuesday the day before I leave, AND I HAD YET TO GET ANYTHING TOGETHER FOR HIS BIRTHDAY EITHER.
[insert panic attack here please]
But then I woke up Thursday morning and realized it was actually just Thursday and not Friday like I had originally thought, and I calmed down a bit.  Uh anxiety…. you’re a be-atch.
I’ll get all of the stuff done on my list.  I’ll get my 13 mile long run in Monday morning before work.  I’ll make a damn good effort at a 5k PR this weekend (apparently it’s been 14 months since I’ve raced a 5k….weird).  Kyle will have a great birthday.  And I’ll be the smartest person in my class.
Ok, that’s the other thing.  What if I’m dumb all of a sudden?  It’s been over 5 years since I’ve been a student.  Dear Brain,  Please still be smart.  Thanks.  Xoxo Jerbear
And I’ll leave you with this random tidbit, whenever the topic of school comes up when I’m talking with Kyle, we immediately break in to the Billy Madison “back to school” song.  We seriously sing it in its entirety trading off each line.  We’re the biggest dorks.  But I like it.

Tips for this back to school girl?  Alabama kids:  any restaurants I need to eat it?  Bars I need to test out?  Running routes to explore?  I need to make the most of my short stay down south!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The One I Pretend to be a Fisherlady

All last week, I seemed to be counting down the days to my cutback week.  I had a less than stellar tempo run, and was just ready for a little break.  Usually this is why I try to race about once a month.... it gives me something more immediate to focus on than my primary goal race.  But with my injuries after Fargo, I kept things a bit open ended.

Saturday I crawled out of bed, despite forgetting to set my alarm (only woke up 14 minutes late....I'm impressed, you should be too) ready-ish for my run.  I ate like crap on Friday night, so I was hoping that wouldn't effect my run.  I ate my normal eggs and toast and a banana to get things moving.  And I sat and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Finally 45 minutes after my estimated departure time, I still hadn't visited the indoor port-a-potty, and just decided to go.  I knew there were a few gas stations during the first 4 miles that I could make it to given an emergency situation.  TMI?  Too bad. :)

The run wasn't anything too special. My legs felt not-so-awesome at the start, but then felt a little stronger.  The temps were lower, but the humidity was 100%.  Did you know humidity can be higher than 100%?  Something I learned the other day.  Hope I never experience it.

After circling back to my apartment for a water refill and a GU, I really just wanted to curl up on the couch.  The run wasn't bad, I was just....bored.  I kept trying to "check out" during the run, but apparently my auto pilot pace is slower than what I was shooting for.  I made it to mile 8 when I ran in to a DailyMile friend, Karla.  She asked if she could tag along for a few miles.  Eeeee!  YES!

We ran together for about 2 1/2 miles and the time seriously flew by.  And for some reason, my pace picked up as well.  Typically I run slower when chatting away, so that was a nice surprise.  She went on her way when I had about a mile and a half left, and I was so invigorated that I kicked up the pace a little bit for the remainder.

I did 12 miles in 1:54:44 for a pace of 9:39.
My average heart rate was 152, with a max of 171.  Oh hai lower average HR!  Yesssssssss. 

After logging my miles, I got all sorts of data-nerdery.  I realized that my mileage for the first 7 days of August is half of my total June mileage.  Also, I've only had 4 weeks in the last 52 weeks where my weekly mileage has been higher than this week.  Whoo!

Kyle is a fishing nut.  To say that he loves to fish as much as I love to run, would be a grave understatement.  His part time job is in a fishing department, so naturally he comes home from work with new purchases after every shift.  Because I make him look at all my new running stuff, it's only fair that I look at his fishing crap, right?

A few weeks ago he brought home this gem.  He bought it, "because it reminded him of me."  That....right there..... that's as sweet as our relationship gets.  jk.  But seriously.  It's a mirror image of my new running kicks! 

When I was little I used to go fishing with my pops all the time.  I'd always pick lures that I'd be attracted to, and they usually worked.  Kyle and I headed out fishing on Sunday night and I tried to use the same little trick.  I mean... if My Little Pony created a line of fishing lures, this would clearly be in the collection, right?  It's even got a sparkly tail!

Random fun fact:  This shade of pink is the exact hue on my toenails right now.  WIN!

I didn't catch any fish on it.  Wah.
(Sorry the picture quality sucks.  I drained my cell battery playing on the twitterz in the middle of the river...oops.)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Search Terms have Gotten a Little Risque....

It's that time again, time to reveal some of the prime apples for how you fine folks make your way to my blog.  Without even trying, I seem to sense a general "theme."  Please let me know if you see it too.
  • foot fetish portland
  • rain boots for sex
  • male nipple stretching
Hint:  Bowchickabowwow.

When I was getting ready for my tempo run on Thursday, I realized I looked like workout Barbie.  Or whatever her dark-haired friend equivalent was.  My hair was super curly for work, so when I put it up, I looked like one of those girls.  You know... those girls with full hair and make up that come to ellipticize at the gym aka turn all the men's heads.  *cough*jealous, I'm a sweaty pig*cough*. 

And then I headed out for a tempo run, that frankly scared me, 7 miles, with 5 at tempo pace.  I've realized that when I start my tempo runs at pace, my heart rate soars, and me and the ol' puke threshold get chummy reeeeeeeeeeeal fast.  With that information tucked in my brain, I opted to take the first couple of miles on the easier side of the tempo pace and then kick it up the last couple.

Which would've been fine and dandy except my garmin's battery died midway through the run.  Meh.  My legs felt like junk and my tempo pace wasn't feeling nearly as strong as it typically does so it was probably for the best.  And I got to enjoy the remaining miles with the fireflies illuminating the bike trail.

I did 7 miles in 1:01:48 (by my close approximation) for a pace of 8:49.
Tempo miles:  8:10, 8:19, 8:21, 3:57 (half mile 7:53 pace). 

Friday morning (roughly 8 hours later) I was out of bed to run again.  There was swearing (only in my head, as I live alone and don't want to be the crazy lady..... yet).  I was excited that it was around 70 degrees out so I wore a SHIRT v tank top/no shirt, in the first time in forever.  Eew, should've checked the humidity.  97%.  Might as well have been raining out there.  Sweat city!  I rewarded myself with Starbucks for my early morning running efforts, but I'm to the point where I just need a pumpkin spice latte to further spur my reason for existance.  I miss it so dearly.  PSL come back to me!  I wonder if Kyle yet knows that literally everything in the world can be fixed in my eyes with a PSL.  I should give him that memo.

And just because it's cute, I found a random flower at work (ok full disclosure, a co-worker tossed her wilting flowers, and I fished a not-so-wilting one out of the trash) and decided to make it my new accessory.  I would wear a flower in my hair everyday of my life if I somehow had access to them.  So cheery!  Hippie flower child at heart, I know.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Transportation on Foot + Weekly Wishlist

Tuesday night I had a bit of a conundrum to attend to. After work I needed to run 6-7 miles and I wanted to hang out with Kyle, and also see his softball game.  I thought about running right after work but the heat was in the 90s, and then I wouldn't get to hang out with Kyle.  I thought about skipping the softball game to run during his game, but if they lost they wouldn't make it in to the tourney, and I wouldn't want to miss his final game of the season.


I could run to his game!

I ran near the fields this winter/spring on an 18 and 20 miler and realized that it would easily be a bikeable distance (if the g.d. bike trails ever got fixed) and was even a runnable distance.  Since they usually have 2 games an hour apart, I haven't felt the need to sit around in my sweat for 3+ hours.  However, they only had 1 game tonight.  A quick mapquest revealed I was correct, and it was 7.1 miles from my doorstep.  YAYZIES!

Kyle came over after work and I unloaded a bag of stuff for him to schlep to the field for me, including my keys, phone, and a change of clothes.  I set out for my run about 80 minutes before their game was to start, and it was a much cooler 80 degrees with a side breeze.  Heaven.  And I could BREATHE so I knew the humidity had dropped.

The route is extremely hilly so I just tried to focus on my form on both the uphill and downhills since Mankato will have its fair share of rollers.  I got to enjoy several sets of sprinklers along the way, and probably grinned for the entire run. IT'S SO NICE TO RUN WHEN IT'S NOT A SAUNA OUTSIDE, FYI.

During the last mile I did my 4x100 m. strides on a slight incline, but still managed a pretty okay pace 7:24, 7:11, 7:09, 7:42.

I ended up with 7.28 miles in 1:09:20 for a pace of 9:32.  And the boys won!

And I forgot to show this, but this was during the game last Monday when I thought the end of the world was on the horizon and the boys continued to play softball.  This was taken from the truck because I haz a scurred.

And now for some fun online shopping!

(found via outblush)
I'm not a huge jewelery girl, so I like pieces that make a bit of a statement.  And I'm obsessed with this gem.

Love this simple long sleeve top.  Actually even like it with the colored pants. That's almost fashion forward of me.  YIKES!

This is a shirt that I need, along with Susan, Sam, and Sam (although it might look weird on a dude).

I almost pulled the trigger on this adorable bag.  I contacted the website to request the dimensions of the bag, because I want to use it for a school bag, meaning it needs to fit my books+laptop.  They never got back to me.  Sad day.

I need this. Not want, need.  If Kyle doesn't buy it for me, I'm getting it myself.  I'm obsessed with the infinity sign.  And I feel like a girl needs something from Tiffany's, right?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Running Form

It has been made abundantly clear that I have issues with my form and/or muscle imbalances.  I had issues with my IT bands post-Green Bay marathon, and after the Sioux Falls half last fall.  I had hip issues shortly after Green Bay and during Vegas and Fargo, and I've had random knee issues........ for the last year or so.

Exhibit A-D:  The Heel Strike. Like Whoa.

A couple weeks ago I finally utilized my groupon'd massage certificate.  My first official massage!  I gave the masseuse a brief background to my running and injuries, and she got to work.  When she finally got to my piriformis, I almost started sobbing.  She said she hadn't felt that tight of a piriformis muscle in a long time.  Afterwards she showed me a couple of stretches to help alleviate some of the tightness and I was on my way.

A few months back I actually noticed that I had some tightness and pain in my piriformis muscle (left one) but didn't really give it too much thought because it never bothered me while I was running.  Rolling over at night, leading with that leg, OUCH!  Certain yoga across the body stretches, OUCH!

I did some research on the piriformis and realized that **shocker** when it's tight, it can pull the hip in the wrong direction and can cause knee issues.  Hmmm.... perhaps I should've given it a bit more thought when it hurt while NOT running.  One of the primary causes is over striding.

Next I took to looking at some race pictures.  It's very clear that when I'm tired/hating life while running my form starts to s-u-c-k.  I start to rest on my back side and have my legs do all the work.  The over striding evidence is very clear in most every race finishing picture when I'm tired, but still trying to do some work (see above A-D).

Another interesting factor is that it is almost impossible to not heel strike when you're over striding (hello knee and IT band issues!).  Back in high school when I would've considered myself a "runner," I only raced 13-27 seconds at a time so you don't think about form.  You just ran...hard. 

Since realizing this, I've made a very conscious effort to work on my form, particularly on my easy paced runs, because the form seems to be worse the slower I run.  My knee is almost to the point where I can ditch my knee strap, and I have had zero hip pain and only a little IT band pain.  Turns out the treadmill really brings out the over-striding in me... oops! 
And clearly I wrote this blog post before I ran a 13.1 mile training run and failed to stretch after.  Uh... oops.  I took a rest day on Monday and did some hip opening yoga which got rid of the creakiness.  Phew.  Since the heat index was 112* I wasn't too sad I had to put off my run.  Eew.

Monday, August 1, 2011

July in Review + Squishy Long Run

July in Review
Total Miles: 131.1 up from 80.6 last month. (102.3 miles from July 2010.)  Highest July mileage EVER!  I think I only missed 8.5 planned miles this month, so I'm pretty impressed with myself.  5 from the flu and 3.5 from laziness.
Total Time: 20:54:08 from 13:11:09 last month. (15:55:59 last July.)
Total Runs: 21 for an average of 6.24/run.
Highest weekly mileage:

7/18/2011 — 7/24/2011:35.0 Mi   5:32:55
Favorite run: The tempo run that reminded me I still have some speed in my legs.  I had started to get concerned.... :P

Most hardcore run: My 3/1 long run of 11 miles on the treadmill.  Yes, I got to watch the sexay US women's soccer team while running, but any run on the TM is considered hardcore, especially a speedy long run!
Favorite race: None.  I ran the Lennox 10k and wanted to saw my own legs off halfway through.
Bike Miles: Zero.  Oops!
Favorite Jams: I listened to Demi Lovato's Skyscraper a bunch during my long run, because I was feeling all emo.  Other than that I haven't really listened to any sweet music lately.  Got any suggestions to add to my playlist?
Saturday I was supposed to do my long run of 13 miles.  5am rolled around and I wanted to start crying I was so tired.  I reset my alarm for 6am.  Still wanted to kick a puppy, so I crawled back under the covers.  ELEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP LATER, I was finally ready to take on the day.  WTF body???  Lucky for me I was able to post-pone the run to Sunday morning instead.

Sunday morning I actually woke up 15 minutes before my alarm and was ready to go.  Thanks 11 hours of catch up sleep!  The temps were actually going to be cooler on Sunday, but the humidity (97%) and dew point (74) were out of control!  No shirt for me, sorry folks!

My heart rate monitor wouldn't even pick up a heart rate on me while I was getting everything together for my run, so I opted to leave it behind rather than fuss with it (OH NOS I DON'T HAVE A HEARTBEAT!!  I'M DEAD!!).  I was out the door and ready to tackle a half marathon. 

Oh, does anyone else **have** to run 13.1 when their schedule calls for 13?  Just seems silly not to, right?  It's like stopping a foot before the finish line in a mile race.

I did a 5 mile loop circling back at my apartment so I could quick refill my handheld water bottle, and lucky that I did because I needed a quick pitstop.  My legs felt like trash.  Luckily, every time I'd do a 3 minute pick up (every 20 minutes or so) my legs would loosen up a bit.  Naturally they tightened up during my pitstop. 

Then I took to the bike path for the remaining 8 miles.  The run was fairly uneventful until my body started to rain.  I stopped to refill my water bottle at the turn around point and realized that my shorts were spilling sweat droplets all over the concrete, and my hat was dripping sweat. 

Sidenote:  I am obsessed with Andy Roddick.  He's a hottie and a great tennis player.  AND he sweats more than me.  Win.  I used to always think, "Yay!  Someone who sweats worse than me, even his HAT is sweating!"  Damn.  Apparently that's me now too.

This is also the first run where it hasn't been raining that my shoes were squishing with each step.  Oh hai humidity!  Almost forgot about you.  The interesting thing is that I was able to breathe fairly well in the humidity for once.  Usually on these runs my legs want to go go go but my lungs are gasping for air not filled with water droplets.  This long run was the opposite, heavy cinder block legs and my lungs were a-ok.

I attempted to pick up the pace the final few miles.  Thanks random guy who was a catchable distance in front of me!  I appreciate the chase!  The last mile I sputtered out a bit.  I've been toying with my fuel for the half distance and took one GU at mile 5. Definitely needed another to finish strong.

I did 13.1 miles in 2:07:55 for a pace of 9:45.

Interesting fun fact:  my very first half marathon was about 16 seconds faster than that.  Always fun to see how far you've come, huh?  :)

When I walked in the door, I shed my shoes and got in the shower.  With my running clothes on. I had no where to set a pile of sopping clothes so I rinsed them out in the shower and then took the coldest shower ever.  Stupid me forgot to stretch after the shower though, so my creaky old lady legs are a bit sore today.  Oh well, better than leaving puddles of my sweat around my apartment to step in later. 

Man I'm gross. :)