Monday, July 26, 2010

Am I hardcore now? and then a rough transition to my nutrition

Once again I find myself with a week between posts. I'm not sure what that tells you, except that I am boring. Plus, it has been Africa-hot here and I've spent many a run on the air conditioned treadmill (with last Friday's debacle and all the "don't be a dumbass" speeches I've been getting).

Having no new magazines to read and actually, sort of, wanting to run outside, I was determined to hit the roads on Saturday and Sunday. And I did.

Saturday's run was mis. er. able. 4 miles at 8am in 85+ degree, humid weather. It sucked. A lot. I drank 24oz of water in 36 minutes. I was so thankful I was actually following my plan and only running 4 miles. I was nervous about next day's 18. I gave BoyToy strict instructions to wake me up before 6am to make sure I was up and out before the heat hit.

I need not have worried about the heat and humidity. Sunday I woke up at 6:10 (grrr...BoyToy) and running by 6:35. It was much better running conditions. 72 degrees and way less humid. My first 8.65 miles felt ok, not great, but better than the last few felt. I was running about 9:20 miles before I met up with Linda so she could kick my ass.

I met Linda at 8am in our usual spot (after submitting to the call of nature behind the market). We had talked on Saturday about running a little easier this week as we expected it to be hot and humid. Remember when I said I needn't have worried about that? I should have worried about the rain.

We were 3.5 miles from our cars (exactly as far away as we go) when the sky opened up to a torrential downpour. I mean, it was build an ark rain. (In case you think I am exaggerating, I checked the radar when I got home - it was red and yellow). Within 3 minutes we were drowned rats. Soaked shoes and all. It rained for the rest of our run. Just when we thought it was letting up - another wave of hard rain came through. All we could do was run. We weren't getting any drier. I could feel the standing water in my shoes. I started to wonder why I was even attempting to avoid the puddles. I won't mention the chafing. Oh the chafing.

For those you, ahem...Troy, who say that running in adverse conditions is "how we earn it". Linda and I earned something on Sunday. I hope its a PR in October, but I'll settle for new shoes.

I also met with the nutritionist this week. She had analyzed my food diary. I'll make this quick.

The good things:
I eat a variety of foods (this is thanks to BoyToy and his refusal to eat the same thing twice in a week).
I don't eat many fried foods.
I eat good breakfasts.
That's it.

The bad things:
Not enough protein.
Too much grazing. And grazing on the wrong things.
No portion control (so yes, a shit load is NOT an acceptable quantity)
Too many processed foods.

The plan:
All carbs I consume should be whole grain. From bread to buns to rice to cereal. No simple sugars. (except for 1 mini candy bar after meals - no more than 3 per day)
Protein with all meals AND snacks.
Snacks must come from my snack list.
Eat every 3 hours (6 times per day). (WOO-HOO!)
Portion control. (Dammit.)
One free day each week to eat (and drink!) whatever I want.
Watch my pee for signs of dehydration.

So far, so good I must say. I grocery shopped on Sunday and bought whole grain bread, cereal, pitas, and tortillas. I bought carrots, zucchini, blueberries, apples, string cheese, and ingredients to make my own trail mix. I'm feeling full and eating clean. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am a hypocrite...who is still bad at math

After posting on Thursday regarding my lack of outside running due to my lack of interest in heat stroke... then I was a hypocrite. The very next day, I ran my workout of 10 miles (3 easy warm up, 4 at tempo pace (7:35-7:40 per mile), 3 easy cool down) in the 90 degree heat. Why, self, why???

I prepared as best I could. I drank a liter of water during my work day (in addition to 2 Diet Cokes) and carried a 24 ounce bottle of G2 with ice. I even ran with only my sports bra on in an attempt to be cooler. This resulted in a side stitch at the end of 1 mile because I was sucking in my stomach so hard. Homegirl needs to do some crunches.

I chose a neighborhood loop to do my tempo miles at. It is about 1.65 miles around (on an asphalt path) and 2.5 miles from my front door. Perfect. I placed my bottle in the bushes at the head of the loop so I wouldn't have to carry it.

I continued my warm up for .5 miles after I set down the bottle (I tried to hide it so it wouldn't be licked by dogs or mistaken for litter). The Garmin beeped 3 miles at I was off! I ran as fast as I thought I should be - working very hard, but not sprinting. It was hot. Thank goodness there was a breeze, but every time it blew I could feel the heat radiating off of the asphalt. My garmin hit 4 miles and I pressed the lap button to see what my time was. 7:37 - perfect!

I stopped at 4.2 miles as I was at the end of the loop and needed a drink. Believe me when I tell you every orifice on my body was sweating.

I decided to run my next lap on the street instead of the asphalt - hoping that it would be a half a degree cooler. I think it was. When the wind blew it was still hot air, but not the waft of fire that came off the newly blackened path. I don't know what my second tempo mile pace was because I malfunctioned when hitting my lap button.

By the third tempo mile, I was starting to question my wisdom of doing this workout out of doors. My shoes were soaked, my clothes were soaked and I was starting to feel like I might hurl purple G2 on someone's petunias - though it would match nicely. I couldn't totally give up - but I did slow down. Miles 3 & 4 were 7:47 & 7:57. And. I. Was. Spent.

I wobbled home hoping to remain upright and not to have to flag down a passing motorist to call BoyToy. I made it in one piece thanking the gods of water fountains in the park. It wiped me out - through Saturday's run as well. I felt dehydrated through Saturday evening.

I rebounded nicely with my Sunday long run and today I'm resting. I had adjusted my training plan to fit in better with my work week and found out I've been doing myself a complete disservice. My weeks were supposed to look like this:

Sunday - long run
Monday - rest
Tuesday - intervals
Wednesday - 10 miler
Thursday - short recovery run
Friday - 10 miler
Saturday - short recovery run

Instead, I was doing:
Sunday - long run
Monday - 10 miler
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - intervals
Thursday - 6 miler
Friday - 10 miler
Saturday - 7 miler

I was being very good about running my paces, but by moving the schedule around and running a few more miles here and there I was tempting the injury gods. I was giving my marching, er, running orders last night and from here on out, I PROMISE, I will follow my plan.

I will also pull a Sarah Palin and write my interval workouts on my hand because I still do too many with the wrong recovery times.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I haven't blogged in 10 days. Maybe its because I' of only ran outside 3 times since the last time I wrote (July 5). I guess that is 3 times in 10 days, which, if I played baseball, would be 3 for 10 or .300 - I'd be in the top 25 in the American League and the top 15 in the National League. So there goes all of your disappointment in me. I am doing great.

There have been a few factors keeping me off of the roads:

1. Its July. Its hot. Its humid. The gym is air-conditioned. Most days I after work and its 90 by then. I'm not interested in heat stroke. While it might give me some good material, I really don't want to tell that story.

2. Lisa was attacked by a bird. This is in Kari's Top Ten Creature Fears. If a bird attacks me, I might never run outside ever again. You could say that running inside means the birds win. I'm ok with that.

3. Speedwork. This is done on the treadmill. Yes, I know, I could go to a track, but that means a) I have to find one and b) be laughed at by middle schoolers. My running club does track workouts on Tuesday mornings at 6:30am. I start work at 7:30 on Tuesdays and, believe me, they prefer me showered.

Running on an actual track would also require thinking on my part. I'm not into that. The treadmill does all my thinking for me! I just set it and try not to fall off the back. I have thus far been successful. I also do not have to count how many intervals I have done. I simply fold down the corner of the page of the magazine I am reading. Then, when I feel like I might pass out, I count the folds. On a great day, I'm at 8, on a bad day, 3.

An argument can be made that I would be better math conversions on the track - I wouldn't have to do them. A lap is 400m, 2 laps is 800m. 800m is basically a half mile - which I can figure out, its the rest time I always screw up. My first 3 weeks of speedwork were supposed to be 8x800 @ 3:50 with 200 recovery. I kept doing half miles with quarter mile recoveries (800 and 400 respectively) and then wondering why my coach said the workout was 8 miles, but I had done 10. I'm not sure in who's world 200 is half of 800. Oh yeah, mine. took me 3 weeks to figure this out.

Yesterday's workout was FINALLY 8x800 with 400 recovery and what did I do? 8x800 with 200 recovery. The kicker was that my intervals were ran 15 seconds faster and I needed the full 400 recovery. The good news is that I did not fall off the treadmill and despite my short recovery, I did all 8. Then I ate a Philly Cheeseburger (no longer keeping food diary).

(A short interlude on the food diary)
I gave it to my friend on Friday and she is analyzing it this week. I hope to have an update soon. I should continue keeping it as I'm sure I would not have eaten all the hot dog flavored chips at the car show due to the embarrassment from having enjoying something as disgusting sounding as "hot dog flavored potato chips".

On the road again
My 3 outside runs were also uneventful. I didn't get lost, I saw no squirrels, no random people talked to me. I ran the golf course last Thursday at a relaxing enjoyable pace. I ran 7 miles with my running group Saturday and learned new alcholic drinks to try. I ran 18 on Sunday and my fuel belt chafed my navel. (Stupid hips forcing my fuel belt upwards!) I remember what I was going to blog about. My love of This American Life podcasts from NPR ($0.99 on iTunes). Next time my 17 time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Running with a "Real" Runner

As far as I know most of my regular running partners are just like me: people who enjoy running, have a certain level of success with it (many of us have qualified to run Boston), and we enjoy each other's company. I think. I might annoy them from time to time, but they put up with me. I know a few of them have athletic pasts (unlike my uncordinated self), but to my knowledge none of them were competitive runners past high school.

On Sunday, though, I ran with a "real" runner. A Division I collegiate runner! (not currently - back in the day. She's older than me, but I won't divulge her age) She's been coached! She ran the Penn State relays! She was a fast enough runner to wear the underwear-looking things! (Google Kara Goucher or Deena Kastor - you'll see what I mean). Her main events were the 3000 and 5000 meters. She ran both on the track and cross country. After college she ran a few marathons, including Boston. Her name is Linda.

I met Linda this spring at the golf course I work at. She and her family joined. She has two sons, 5 and 1. She was a high volume runner until her first pregnancy. She continued to run after both births, but she is now a 3 or 5 mile runner and hasn't ran any 1/2 or full marathons in years. Linda is plannign to run the 1/2 at Columbus this fall and told me she would pace me through the first half. I told her she should pace me through the second half as that is when I would need her more, but that's not how race directors plan things.

We have been talking about running togther for months. However, with her kids and my random running schedule it just hasn't worked out. Until yesterday! I was super pumped! I had 16 on the schedule and Linda was going to meet me at 8am to run 8 with me. My big plan was to start running by 6:30 so I could have 9 or 10 in before I met her, but I sort of overslept and then there was some road construction, so I didn't get started until 6:50am. I ran 7.34 at a 9:14 pace.

I met Linda at the gazebo (after standing by my car for a few minutes and then realizing maybe I should look around) and we were off! We ran 8 miles along the Antrim trail and when we were finished my average pace was 8:34 - 40 seconds faster per mile. I would work out what that meant Linda and my's pace per mile was, but that involves math and I'm not sure how to get my Garmin to tell me. I'm going with 8 minute miles.

I know many of you (16!!! Holy Crap!) are now reading thinking "that was way too fast for a long run" I was also thinking that, but Linda didn't think I've been doing enough hard running. I do one day of speedwork per week, but I haven't done any marathon pace training runs since last September. She told me I need to get my body used to some hard running. Granted - not every day, but once in awhile and during my long runs. It was also nice having someone to push me for that long. It boils down to two competing philosophies and I figured a hard run wasn't going to kill my entire training. I took it easy today and am off until Wednesday after work (over 56 hours rest).

Linda also promised me after our run that she was going to "get in shape" so she could run better. I looked at her and said, "If this is your out of shape, I'm not sure I want you to get IN shape."