Tuesday, August 28, 2012

21 in the books

Last week I had a mini epiphany and wondered if switching my inserts had something to do with the increased knee pain. For 1.5 years I ran in the 'berry' super feet, and this spring they switched me to orange because it cups my heel better. It may 'cup my heel better,' but the arch support feels wrong for my foot, which in turn, makes me run a bit different. This isn't anything major when it comes to half marathons, but obviously can be detrimental with longer runs. On a whim I switched back to berry for a few bootcamps last week and it was very minimal pain- wooooooooooooo!  So I decided to give it a whirl for the weekend. 

This Saturday I used my berry super feet and did go ahead with my 20 miler run to see how my knee would hold up and determine if Sept 15 was going to be the day I finally run a full marathon, or just another half.

I was supposed to run 11 miles (5.5 out and back) and then meet up with Ashley to do the back 9. At mile 5 I was feeling surprisingly great so I decided to do 6 out and back so I could get a full 12 in before meeting up with Ash. 

Despite it being early, it was already getting swampy out, so it was actually nice to run alongside the train and get the cool breeze coming off of it as it passed by. 

I realized that I am quite frankly terrible at math. I originally told Ash to meet me around 7, which turned into 7:05-7:10 and finally my last text said 7:15ish.... I actually didn't get to the point I was supposed to meet her until a little after 7:30. Being the good friend she was she had started to get worried and walked a bit into the trail to find me, but then decided to wait a bit longer just in case I slowed down. 

Truth be told nothing bad happened, I just thought I was going faster than I was--- same story different tune with the heat, always feeling like I'm working entirely too hard for the times I'm running. First 12 miles done with a 9:02 avg pace. 

Last 9 with Ashley were comical- I am terrible at running and talking--- it seriously winds me. We had to take several stops to stretch and walk, poor Ash wasn't getting much of a workout in. Majority of our run was ran at a 9:30 pace and Ashley made the comment how it was very comfortable and now she 'gets' when people say they feel good when they run--- we both have a tendency to push ourselves too much during training runs so they tend to be miserable. 

Last few miles sucked- I was tired, we couldn't break a 10 min pace, and my stomach was growling at me to get some food--- I did see a cow though, and cows are my secret good luck charm, so stupid as it may seem, it did help 

 Last 3 miles the knee was bothering me, but not in that "holy cow I think my leg is going to fall off" kind of way... more so in the "why the hell are you running 21 miles Lisa" kind of way. I couldn't have mapped the distance any more perfectly as I finished RIGHT at my car for 21 miles---- so extremely happy to tackle that distance relatively pain free - Air Force Marathon here I come

21 miles with 9:30 average pace- finally got proof of my LONG run since last 20 miler I had to go based off someone else's watch.

Last night I did the Tin Roof run and Ash was nice enough to let me borrow her knee brace to see if it would potentially be worth getting for the marathon-----ZERO and I mean ZERO knee pain, it was magical. Needless to say I'm going to Dick's this week to get one and I'll be rocking it for my race... 3 weeks
Ash, Stu, me, B (4 out of the 6 of us for Van 1 Bourbon Chase)

This weekend I have a double header planned with Kim, Iowa on Sat, Nebraska on Sunday. If knee behaves well for this, I surely will be good to go 2 weeks after that!

Monday, August 20, 2012

To marathon or not to marathon

Air Force Marathon Logo

This summer I have been 'semi' training for the Air Force Marathon. I say semi, because my mileage is still low, but I'm at least managing to stick to the long runs. 

Ever since I ran my 18 mile run, my knee has been on the fritz. Yes I managed a half marathon and a 20 miler, but both were with significant pain.

I went home this weekend and was all excited to run in the cooler temps with my brother- something as simple as sleeping wrong and putting too much pressure on my knee made it too wonky in the morning to want to do 6 measely miles--- I ended up not running at all this weekend leaving me with a grand total of 5 miles for the whole week. I know you're thinking how awesome I am right about now.

Tonight I met up with our Fleet Feet group and had the worst 4 mile experience in a LONG time. Within 1 mile I was cursing at how much pain I was in--- naturally I began that lovely mental self doubt talk and finally came to the conclusion that if I'm in this much pain after 1 mile, how the hell am I going to run a marathon in 1 month?

So as much as it pains me to say this, I will be using this weekend's 20 mile run as a verdict. If I struggle through it, then I will see about downgrading from the marathon to the half. It sucks because it feels like this summer will have been a waste of time, but 26.2 miles is a LONG distance to venture injured and I think it would put me out for several months.

I'll need all the healing thoughts and good lucks for Saturday, hope all goes well :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

5 things Friday

 great things that happened this week

1. Started new job this week. First few days were stressful, but I've gotten into my groove. I used to count the minutes down to when I could leave at 3:55. Now I find myself staring at the clock at 6pm and not yet lready to leave... OBVIOUSLY i'm in the honey moon stage right now.  I  have a new AMAZING view to look at every day - though it can be distracting to watch people enter and leave work. 

2. Went running on Wednesday after work and the run itself sucked and my knee really bothered me. When I had 1 mile left I just kicked it with all I had to be done... the result below in lower left hand (goes to show even with my last mile being that fast, avg pace was 9:29... goes to show how the other 4 miles were)

3. Had some great deals arrive in the mail this week-
First up runningskirts was having a sale over the weekend for free shipping. I also used the 15% off code , iskirt.  I was able to get my skirt plus a free gift for all for $36.55! I'll be honest I forgot about the free gift and didn't even know what it would be... was stoked when I opened it up. I've used it so much already :)
 Then I happened to find some GREAT value sparkly non slip bands on etsy. The below 3 were $15 total plus $1.50 for shipping. Yes please!
 Put them both together and I have one sweet running outfit for my run in Ohio with my brother (if he answers my texts or phone calls)

4. Business Cell came in today!!
Although I have been using the Droid for 2+ years, an I phone and all its functionality is new to me. I think what I'm most excited about is I'm going to downgrade my phone plan now to basic and use the iphone for internet gadgets and such--- yay for saving money!

5. I'm leaving to head back to Ohio in an hour. I haven't been home since Easter, but considering my sis- in - law turns thirty and this little guy turns 2, I figured it deserves a trip since my schedule can allow it 

From last time I was home- apparently he talks more. 

Hope you had 5 things that made you happy this week :) 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

20 Miles in the books

A few of you sent me emails asking how this weekend went since I didn't yet post- my new job started at work and what once was an 8 hour day has turned into 10-11 hrs, so free time is a commodity. As I learn my role the hours will get shorter, but for next few weeks I might be a little lack in posting often.

Who is no longer a 20 miler virgin?!?!

This Gal!

This past Saturday I ventured off for my first 20 miler. I had a running meet up at 6am with a group of individuals, but their plan was to just do 15, so I ventured out a little after 5am to knock out the first 5 miles before meeting up with them.

First 5 went amazing- temps were low 60s, sun wasn't out yet, jamming to my music, and no knee pain- 8:30s average pace. 

As soon as I started running with the other 4 individuals I felt like a different runner- the 9:10 pace we were doing was HARD and the dull ache in my knee was starting to get more consistent vs. coming and going. Luckily when I run with people vs. solo I tend to push myself more so instead of walking I just kept  a short distance of 5-10 feet behind them for awhile.

The miles actually ticked by due to extreme inappropriateness topic of conversation- another reason I love running with guys when I am able.

A few of you were curious how testing out the Nathan Women's Intensity Vest would be--- it was MAGICAL. I don't own body glide (crazy I know considering its a staple for most runners) and it didn't chafe one bit. I did put deodorant on the spot where the straps lie just in case, but does deodorant do anything? This was a fluke weekend for Nashville, so humidity and temps were extremely mild- I was worried I would get hot in the vest, but it never bothered me. I wish I would have  purchased this earlier in the summer.

Route we chose was 12 miles (for my group, 17 total for me) and we were going to do a 1.5 out and back to make up the last 3. Since we were back at cars I ditched my vest, had some gatorade, and off we went. Once I got to mile 18 I was struggling so I told one of the guys who was hanging back with me that I needed to put in my music---- what a trick. Immediately my pace picked up and I felt amazing. My last 2 miles ended up being sub 8s with the mile 20 clicking in at 7:42.

I decided that I'm going to try this out for actual marathon, only, not sure how long I can go without music when I'm running solo.

Overall I was pleased with how the run went. I was able to walk normal afterward, and more importantly the next day.  My total time was 20 miles in 2:58:30. 1.5 min faster than when I did my walk/ run/ jog 18 miles a few weeks back. In two weeks I'm due for another 20 miler, however I'm thinking of making it a 22 miler (maybe) so I can get more time on my feet. I NEED to run longer than 3 hours!

For any experienced marathoners out there--- what's a good chunk of miles you go before putting in music to get your 2nd wind?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Five for Friday

 things that make me happy this week, in no particular order

1. Today is my LAST day health coaching. Come Monday I transition into my new role (same company) as an account management consultant-- longer hours, more busy, but there is a significant increase in pay and its way overdue for some change. Yesterday my current team gave me a going away basket of some of my favorite things-- what I thought was sweet is these are all items they've heard me talk about in conversation--- I swear I do eat healthy despite what they gave me haha 
  • 2 packages of Haribo Gummy bears
  • 1 package of normal gummy bears
  • king size reeces
  • pop corn
  • Hershey's cookies and creme pieces
  • caffeine free diet coke (actually its coke I love, but its the thought that counts)
  • and the kicker- 1 large white onion and onion ring mix so I could make my own (i crave fried onions after long runs)
Only thing missing in the basket is bacon. Sad to leave such a great team, but I'm sure I'll see them around at bootcamp or the cafe. 

2. My knee is feeling MUCH better so I"m going to go ahead and get in my FIRST 20 miler ever. I received my hydration vest in the mail last week so I will be testing that out as well. At first I was nervous, but I planned it out so I'm waking up EARLY to get 5 miles in during the 5am hour and then at 6 meeting up with one of my running buddies Brian to do 15--- at least I won't be bored.  Its funny what you find when googling the word "20 miles"- Vanessa, you showed up haha. I don't know who this guy is, but looking at his last blog post we have the same shoes, and  I dig the photo so I'm sharing it
mmm blue moon. 


81 degrees is what the temps will be today and tomorrow... oh and low humidity. That is worth doing a little dance for because normally its a swamp out there (just in time for long run) 

4. If you haven't figured out by now.. I like bright colors- whether its my racing outfits or shoes. Case in point when I set a goal for myself to run sub 1:45 and rewarded myself with these bad boys:
I do love them, but they are not the same as a stability shoe, so these I generally wear for cross training and my actual shoes are BORING. For those out there that wear stability shoes I'm sure you can relate: I'm getting tired of all these cute, vibrant colors out there for minimalist shows (brooks pure project for example)--- WHERE is the love for those of us that wear stability shoes. I found my current obsession- HOT pink version of the shoes I already wear (Saucony Guide 5s) 
I've been SCOURING the internet to find my size, no luck so far, all sold out. So if any of YOU happen to see a size 10.5 in womens, please email me ASAP Lisarun2@gmail.com Thank you in advance :) 

5. My dog back home, Madie had a large tumor on her paw removed, just got word last night that despite what they thought was most likely cancer, it was infact benign! I can't wait till next time I go home so I can smother her with kisses.
On the upside- her cast is fabulous hot pink and at least her cone is transparent vs. the traditional white like they use to have. 

Anything exciting good happen in your week?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Legacy Midnight Run - Race Recap


Legacy Midnight Run- Farmington, Utah

Half Marathon #35
State #31

low 80s high 70s at start (NO humidity), cooled down throughout the race and was high 60s, low 70s by end, slightly chilly

Official Stats:
Time: 1:48:10
Overall Place: 39/358
Gender Place: 12/100
Age group: 4/40

Due to out of the blue knee pain that occurred during my 18 miler last weekend, I was having difficulty walking pain free and didn't know if I'd be able to race this weekend. Through extensive icing and keeping anti-inflammatories in my system all week, the pain was starting to die down and I could walk slightly normal. I went to a sports med orthopedic and he told me I had Plica syndrome- which in short means uncomfortable and painful inflammation in my knee. If you can tolerate the pain, you can push through it as it generally doesn't cause damage. Those words were music to my ears and I went ahead on to SLC the next day. 

Pre Race:
Over the last couple of years reading blogs, I've drooled over a lot of the Utah blogger's photos of different restaurants that are local to them. I remembered there was a restaurant, Pizza Factory, with crazy breadsticks, pasta and all you can eat salad bar- that  seemed light enough to eat on race day... how do you even fuel for a same day race?!?!

Both Laura and I were stoked about the parmesean garlic breadsticks that we each got two, then for dessert we were going to split the cinnamon & sugar breadstick. (we were over ambitious) 

Between the all you can eat salad bar, the pasta we ordered, and the size of the breadsticks, I was unable to finish my helping so we decided to save one for when we picked Kim R up at the airport. They give you to go bags to put your bread in, but you're supposed to leave the stick at the restaurant. I think the stick is part of the appeal, so I secretly took it out in hopes Kim would appreciate "bread on a stick"

After picking up Kim we retreated back to check in hotel and relax for a few hours. Despite the race not starting till 10pm, packet pickup was b/n 6-8, so we had to leave our hotel at 7:15 to make it there on time.

Kim was sad I wouldn't be matchy match with her, but since it was a night race and that meant bright colors, I had to take advantage of wearing my sweet "animal print pants outta control" spandex again - carpe diem!

Glow sticks galore! Every runner got 1 necklace and 2 bracelets. Later the half marathoners got LED bracelets which were AWESOME

Podium finishes (or pretending to be) 

  • Half marathon started at 10pm- it was a point to point so the half marathoners were shuttled to the start line where as the 5kers and 10kers did an out and back at the finish line. 
  • Naturally our bus driver got lost and everyone on the back of the bus was growing anxious and yelling how he needed to turn around- made for annoying introduction to the race, but we got there by 9:30 so still had time before everything kicked off. 
  • As said earlier, all half marathoners got LED bracelets in your choice of red, green, or blue... I took green and blue. 

Flash Off

Before walking to the start: Kim, me, Laura 

We all walked up the hill to the start line together, but Kim and L didn't want to be near the front, so we parted ways. I'm not big on having a "plan" for the race, but I told myself I would just go out like normal and adjust pace / stride as necessary based on my knee... maybe bank some time in the beginning with anticipation that I would have to stop and walk / stretch.  (at the very least I just wanted to break 2 hours and finish before midnight) 

First mile I felt like I went out strong and fast... maybe too fast as my breathing was getting a little heavy- when the first mile clicked by it said it was a 7:59 pace... what?!?! I could have sworn it felt like 7:20s, 7:30s slowest, but a 7:59 first mile- there is no way I should be tired with that. Then it dawned on me, elevation change. I train at 500 ft, and here it was around 5000. Back when I ran the River Platte 1/2 in CO, I didn't have any problems with elevation due to running at someone else's pace, so it didn't occur to me to "take it easy" to allow lungs to acclimate, awesome. 

First mile was a really good indicator of how the rest of the race was going to go--- working way too hard for sub par times. The only other mile that was sub 8 was the last mile, everything else ranged from 8s-8:30s. My mile splits are off due to losing satellite in a tunnel, otherwise I'd do the breakdown. 

Knee wise I was very aware of how sensitive it was--- every step I took it reminded me to "take it easy", but I guess my pain tolerance is getting higher --- luckily the race was in the dark otherwise I'm sure I would have received a lot of strange looks / comments with my "adaptive stride / hobble" to lessen the pain. I was surprisingly one of the few people that wore a headlamp- it was definitely needed on this course as there was minimal if any lighting majority of the way. A few times people would sprint up to me and then get in front of me to share my light--- it was kind of annoying but at the same time it was motivation to eventually pick up pace and pass them (my light did save someone from stepping in a HUGE pile of horse poo, so that was my good deed for the night) 

I noticed I was taking much shorter but quicker strides. I seriously felt like I was sprinting, yet it seemed the  more effort I exuded, the slower the split was--- how aggravating.  I walked and stretched at all the water stops which enabled some temporary pain relief as well as being able to  play leap frog with a few fellows who chose not to stop.  I love smaller races because chances are you'll find someone around your pace, AND its a great game  to try to catch someone in the distance.... especially when I see a blinking light up ahead. 

The course was flat as pancakes which some people love, but my muscles get tired with that much repetition and I was starting to feel it. By mile 10 BOTH my IT bands (despite my stretch attempts) were toast and my right calve was getting tighter and tighter trying to take more of load off my knee. I'm not sure if the fact  that I've ran so many halves my mentality can get me through them, or if I was just ready to be done, but my last mile I turned it ON. There was a girl who looked to be my age in the distance ahead and I made it a goal to just catch her. It took the whole mile to do so, but when I turned the corner to the last straight away I blew  right by her. (it also helped that the last .1 was all big gravel and I had my headlamp to get my footing and she didn't) As I'm approaching the  finish line I hear Ashley U cheering for me, how awesome is that to be in a foreign place and have someone cheering for you! (reason #434390 why I love blogging) I was elated when the clock read 1:49:07 because I knew that meant my official time was in the 1:48s. (my garmin doesn't show total time on the first screen, so I do everything by avg pace now) 

Immediately upon finishing I walked over to talk with her and her friend Jess--- Ashley was there helping Jess complete her first 10k in preparation for her very first half marathon this fall, what a supportive friend. Ash and I were SUPPOSED to be on the original blogger Colorado Ragnar Relay before they changed the dates, so this was actually my first time meeting her. ( she is now the 3rd blogger that I was looking forward to meeting from the relay that never happened- Kara T and Rachelle are the other two) 

After chatting with Ash and Jess for 20 or so min, I said goodbye in search for some ice to strap on to my knee and then call my mom. Yup even though it was about 12:20am mst, it was 2:20 est and she wanted a call to make sure I was okay and see how everything went... thats love right there ;) 

L and Kim made their way over to me, we grabbed some food, then were ready to get a shower then much needed shut eye
Kim- State #10, L- repeat state, Me- State #31 

 Overall I'm glad I made the decision to come out. Race field was small, which I generally prefer, and it was fun to do something different. When you're racing the states, it can get repetitive, so anything to throw some uniqueness into the mix is always welcome. With that being said, I just now found my stash of glow sticks back home, L and Kim said that means I have to do another night race soon :) 

State #31- Utah done. 

Next up is DOUBLE header over Labor Day: Iowa, and Nebraska- 2 boring states, 1 swoop.