Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hotel Treadmill Running

I am currently working in McLean, VA (just outside of Washington, DC). Today was a scheduled run day. Since I had gotten to bed quite late last night, I decided to run after work. I figured it would be a good time to wind down.

By the time I was driving back to the hotel, I was SO ready for a run. Since this is a fairly urban area, I decided to use the treadmill. I figured it would be easier on all my recent aches and pains as well. This was one of those fancy treadmills with it's own built in TV set. So I started the treadmill up and began with a 5 minute brisk walk to help warm up. I stopped to stretch, then cranked it up a bit to a 12 min/mile pace to take a nice easy run.

After about 25 min of news and other TV items, I couldn't find anything interesting so I fired up the iPod and cranked up the treadmill some more to about an 11:20 min/mi pace.

Around 45 min into the run I was really feeling great when I realized that this silly hotel treadmill will only go for 60 minutes. I tried to add time but I couldn't. If I wanted to go longer I would have to restart it - which isn't a big deal, but kind of a pain. Meanwhile, the workout room was getting more crowded - and with only 2 treadmills, an elliptical and a bike, I needed to give up the treadmill and not be a hog (sigh).

After my hour was up, the machine kicked into warm down mode, slowed me up a bit and kept going. After a couple of minutes I realized I got 5 bonus minutes to warm down. I cranked the speed back up to 10 min/mi and at least got past 5 miles after my slow start. (OK, not the purpose of a warm down, but I could just warm down afterwards while stretching...).

I felt fired up after that run - I could have gone another 1 or 2 miles easy. I guess to get my longer runs in this week I will have to run multiple times. :-) But it felt great to run. The hammy let me know it was there but didn't really hurt and a hot bath afterwards seemed to really help it.

Running strong in Virginia!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

One of the Reasons I Carry a Cell Phone When I Run

You may recall from a recent episode of Running Adventures I talked about the things I take with me on a run. One of the items is my cell phone - which I bring for two important reasons. One is if I am unable to complete a run or get delayed so I can call home. The other is if I see anything on my run that may need to be reported. Today it was the latter.

I was about 6 miles into my run down busy Lockwood Blvd, and today there was the usual amount of traffic. As I was coming around a slight bend I saw a car drift from the left lane into the median, strike 3 sets of small trees, flip over 2 and a half times and land on its roof about 100 ft in front of me. I immediately ran up to the car and asked the driver if she was ok. She waved at me (all I could see was her arm) and said she was ok. Shakily I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911 to report the accident. In spite of the state of her car, she was ok. The firemen and police came, and soon she was actually standing near her car and talking to the firemen. She is a night shift nurse just driving home from work.

While waiting for the tow truck, she was on her cell phone trying to reach someone in her family but no one was answering. She thought her husband might be outside working in the yard, so I asked her where she lived. It turns out she lives about a half mile away just around the corner so I offered to run over and see if anyone was home. Fortunately her husband was home - and he was outside working in the yard, just as she thought.

After heading back to the accident area to make sure the husband found her and to return the scrap of paper she wrote her address on, I decided just to head straight home from there since it was starting to warm up outside (it was about 9 am). I had also phoned home to let them know I was going to be a little late since I was hanging around the accident until no longer needed (reason 1 for having the cell phone).

As I spoke with my husband about it later, I realized that it is important to pay attention to the busy traffic around me when running. Any car could drift out of their lane and into the side walk. With so much traffic I tend to tune them out, but for now on I will be watching where the cars are more closely.

Another weird thing: this is the second traffic accident I have witnessed this week. The first one was while I was driving to work. The people in that one were ok as well.

It is off to the Washington, DC area this week for work. I am bringing my running and podcast gear along for the ride and will be reporting in from there!

Oh, and so far so good with the new shoes. They did great!

Run safely all!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Next New Shoe - Brooks Adrenaline

Since the Kayano's were a bust for my toes, I returned to Fleet Feet for a shoe with a larger toe box. My Brooks Addictions worked well, so I went with another Brooks shoe, which has a similar toe box - the Brooks Adrenaline. It is a lighter shoe with a bit more cushioning than the Addictions.

I am going to take it for a test run tomorrow - we will see how it does. My toes have recovered from the other shoes - dark, matching toenails on each foot - but no pain (sigh)!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hamstring Saga Continues

Thanks for all the great advice on the hamstring. Yesterday instead of running I did weights and the elliptical. Good idea except I probably should have laid off the leg curls (ugh!). I did lower the weight and take it easy. After two sets I skipped the last set and any other leg exercises and stuck with upper body.

Last night and today I could still feel stiffness and some soreness (not really bad, just there) so I took today off and will also take tomorrow off.

Sunday will be a 5-10 mile long run, depending on how the leg feels. Per all the wonderful advice, I will go really easy and quit partway through if it doesn't feel right.

Since I have three 20+ mile runs in my plan, I will skip this one and work my mileage up for the next one. I am fortunate that I have plenty of time to adjust.

Thanks again for all the super advice!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Slow Week and Hamstring Woes

A quick update post. After doing 14 miles on Sunday, I took Mon off (my usual rest day) and then did 6 miles Tuesday. The hamstring felt sore afterwards (even though I don't feel like I pushed too hard), so I took Wednesday off and today (Thursday) I am going to cross train on the weights. Hopefully tomorrow I can get back on the road.

My mileage last week and this week have been lower than I would like (less than 30 miles), given where I am in my training program. Still, I have some room in the schedule to build up to where I need to be. I am just over 9 weeks away from MCM. I am supposed to do a 20 mile run this weekend, but with the sore hammy, I am wondering if I should ease back in and maybe do another 13-15 miler and give it a go next weekend.

I feel like this is not a severe injury, and that if I don't push too hard I can overcome it fairly quickly. Meanwhile I am massaging it and doing gentle stretches.

Anyone with other advice on this topic feel free to weigh in.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hamstrung and a Tough 14

New Smyrna Beach

It's been a tough week of training. I was on travel Tuesday and half of Wednesday and ended up missing 2 runs and all my weight training again this week. On Wednesday afternoon I did get out and do 6 miles. Then on Thursday evening, I thought it would be nice to run with my husband as he begins his training for the Walt Disney World Marathon, his first. He is 6'2" with long legs to my 5'2" frame with very short legs. For this run, he was running a minute and walking a minute, so I figured I would make it interval training for me and an easy run for him.

I ran the intervals fairly hard - my turnover had to be close to 180 bpm. It was a good workout, but about 3 miles into our 4 mile run, left my hamstring, the one that aches every now and then when I over do it, started to ache more than usual. I finished the run but by the time we stopped I was in a good amount of discomfort. It wasn't a sharp pain, but pain nonetheless. I had hoped to make up some of the week's miles on Friday morning but the way my leg felt, I knew Friday was going to be a rest day. Perhaps I could do an easy 3 in the afternoon.

So Friday, I was still pretty uncomfortable, so no running. Saturday, still tight so I took another day off, hoping I could do my 15 miler on today. Saturday we did spend time at the beach (hence the picture) which was really nice!

Today I set off for my 15 miles a bit late. I wasn't going to finish before 10 am so I knew the finish would be hot. I wanted to take it easy because I didn't know how the hamstring would do. When I started to run the first block was surprisingly sore - I began to think I would have to cut the run short. I figured I would give it a couple of miles and see if the pain became bad or if I was just a little stiff. I felt ok after about 3 miles, so I decided to keep going.

After about 3 miles I was already running anaerobically, so I knew that I probably wouldn't finish the goal mileage and it was going to be a tough run.

I stopped after 8.5 miles at my office to refill the Camelbak and let my husband know I wasn't going to finish as quickly as I thought. I cut the course short and headed straight home - stopping a couple miles from the house at a gas station for some gatorade and air conditioning.

I finished 13.94 miles in 2:56:37, about a 12:39 pace. Not too bad given the conditions. Splits:

Mile 1: 12:02
Mile 2: 12:17
Mile 3: 12:10
Mile 4: 12:38
Mile 5: 12:09
Mile 6: 12:42
Mile 7: 12:22
Mile 8: 12:43
Mile 9: 12:33
Mile 10: 12:59
Mile 11: 13:03
Mile 12: 13:00
Mile 13: 13:31
Mile 14: 12:14 (.94 miles)

Lots of walking toward the end. Next week I do my first 20 miler leading up to MCM.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Episode 9 - Hot Summer Running!

Playing at CamelBeach (Poconos, PA) on a hot summer day!

Welcome to another episode of running adventures which has not come out as soon as I would like, but here it is!

Episode 9 of Running Adventures takes you on some difficult, hot runs (yes you get to hear me whine) and up to Pennsylvania for a brief visit. We round it off with a few animal facts and some live piano music provided by my daughter and running partner.

Featured music this week from the Podshow Podsafe Music Network includes:

"My Friend" by Denis Kitchen
"Endless Summer" by Causeway
"Flute Jazz Pop" by Guardian Mind Mix

The opening music is "Super Soul" by 4saizons and the closing music is from "Adventures of a Deaf Dreamer" by Josh Woodward.

Have a great adventure in the coming week!

Email comments to: marathonchris@gmail.com
Post comments to: http://marathonchris.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 12, 2007

10 More Miles in the Can

Well I guess I am not special when it comes to dealing with heat. Everyone is dealing with hot temperatures. It really can be draining.

After spending a full day at the Magic Kingdom yesterday (in the 97 deg F heat) and spending time with our visitors last night, I finally got to bed around 11:30 pm (half of my lack of sleep problem). For my 10 miler today, I needed to get up at 6 am (the other half of my lack of sleep). By the time I was out and running it was about 6:35 am, but I had everything I needed for the trip! It was not as warm as it has been some of the mornings lately, but by the time I was on the homestretch last .3 miles, it was plenty warm.

I must say, this is one of the best training long runs I have had. I set the Garmin alarm to go off every 6 minutes so I could run 5 min and walk 30 sec - 1 min. I decided I was going to need to take two walking breaks per mile if I was to follow the Galloway plan - actually for the pace I am planning I think it tells me I should run 4 walk 1. I have found that for my longer runs I am unable to sustain the pace I want with one walking break per mile. 10 miles is shorter than many of my long runs of late, but it was a good place to try out the theory.

The results were about as good as I could hope:

10.53 miles in 2:02:51 (11:39 pace)
AHR: 153 bpm (aerobic)

My goal for the marathon to break 5 hours is 11:37 min/mi. The key to lasting is to keep my pace down at the aerobic level. In spite of the warmth (at the finish of my run it was 80 deg F with 77% humidity - feels like 85 deg F), I almost hit my goal pace and did hit my heart rate pace!

I think that I will continue to work the two breaks per mile approach for my longer mid week run (which will be in the 8-10 mile range) to get myself used to the pace as well as for my long runs. My other mid-week runs will focus on tempo and turnover rate. I have shyed away from hill training because of the PF (which has never completely left me) but I may need to consider working this a bit in prep for the MCM.

Running Adventures podcast status: Almost completed - am going to try to get it out tomorrow....here is hoping! :-)

Run strong everyone!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

18 Miles and Counting

Image found at http://distancedemons.homestead.com/Gear.html

Today was the day....18 long hot miles. I got an early start - heading out the door around 5:30 am (not nearly as early as my very early friend Susan). My husband was going to join me on the bike on the Cross Seminole Trail (see yesterday's post) but he wasn't going to make it up so early. So I offered to go out and run the first 8 miles, then come back and we could go do the other 10 miles. That would give him another hour and a half.

It was still quite dark at 5:30 am - the sun seems to be coming up around 6:15 am or so. I decided to take two walk breaks per mile - one each half mile, for 30 sec - 1 minute. I would use my heart rate as a guide.

The first 8 miles felt great. I was able to keep my heart rate low for the first 5 miles or so, but as I went on, the heart rate drifted higher and by mile 8 I was at an average 157 bpm. A clear sign of a warm humid morning. It was going to be a tough run, but after 8, I felt like I still had 10 more in me.

As I got near to the house after the first 8 miles, my husband met me out on Lockwood on the bicycle. We decided that, rather than get in the car and drive to the other trail, we would just add another 10 miles to what I was doing. I had a 10 mile route I used, so we went that way.

At mile 12-13, things started to get harder. I was hoping for a 12 min mile pace but had fallen behind that by mile 10 - still I knew that I needed to reserve my energy for the distance. The goal was to finish - not with great speed. By mile 14 or so I was walking nearly every quarter mile, and by mile 15 I was using landmarks to push myself (run to that bush down the way then I could walk).

I finished in 3 hours 50 min. I was soaked with sweat (I could wring out my shirt and shorts). Here is a funny thing. In the last 3-4 miles or so, I had to stop 3 times to loosen my shoelaces - my toes were going numb. I think the new Asics are too small - my right 2nd toe has been getting blisters on the end, and the end of my toes are sore after long runs. Time to go back to the running store and check into a different shoe or shoe size. I have just over 100 miles on these so hopefully we can see if this is a good shoe for me. I didn't have these problems in the Addictions, so maybe I need to switch back.

PF heel felt, well, different today. It didn't get painful as in previous runs. It would just feel tight and numb. It is a bit achey but not bad this evening.

Total run stats:

Time: 3:50:12
Avg pace: 12:47 min/mi
AHR: 158 bpm (not too bad - just into the anaerobic zone)
Calories (per Garmin) - 2718 cal
Water consumed during run: 64 oz
Clif shots consumed: 5 (at mile 4, 7, 10, 13 and 15.5)
iPod: Phedip and Michael Mucklow

18 Mile Run Lessons Learned:

Things that went well: Finished the run, had enough water and such, decent time
Things that went poorly: Toes getting numb from tight shoes
Where I was lucky: More clouds than normal this morning gave some relief from the sun
Where I was unlucky: No unluckiness here.

12 weeks until the Marine Corps Marathon!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

It has been awhile....

Just after finishing my 16 mile run at La Jolla Cove.

I don't believe I have gone this long without updating my blog. And I STILL am working on the next episode of Running Adventures. But as many of my running friends can relate to, life has been very busy. I had been spending quite a bit of time writing my blog and reading other blogs and working on two different podcasts. I really needed to spend more of my evenings with the family. So I took a break to spend time with the kids and hubby and it has been great.

Marathon training is in full swing so sleep is as important as ever. I still am not great at getting to bed early - but I'm working on that. Being in San Diego for a week threw me off. I wish I could get up as early as Susan! 3:45 am??? I struggle to get up a 6 am! I also have the issue of hot, humid weather - so early runs are essential!

Tomorrow is my 18 miler - the first in a series of "monster" runs leading up to my marathon. My husband is going with me and is going to follow me on the bike. I am going to do an out and back on the Cross Seminole Trail starting and ending in Oviedo. Today I am preparing for the run, including getting ice for the ice bath afterwards! I think Maddy was going to run 18 today. Hope that went well!

In general my training has been going ok, but I felt really drained this week. I missed a run on Wed because I wasn't feeling well (actually I missed both Wed runs) but I ran 8 miles on Thursday as a make up. That run felt great! On Friday I didn't run because I decided I would take 2 days off before the big run on Sunday. I did about half a weight training session on Tuesday but just didn't have the energy to finish it. I didn't do a second strength training this week - so strength training is really off for the past few weeks. I will work to get that back into the routine next week.

Wall on the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

I will leave you with a few more shots from the 16 miler in La Jolla. I will check back in after tomorrow's run. Run strong everyone!!!

Running on the beach is O K

Along the way, some dog refreshment!

Not taken during the run, but on a return visit to the beach at the end of the day. I love sunset's!