Thursday, September 28, 2006

something done...

which is better than nothing, which is what I ended up with at the end of the day yesterday. I didn't feel like a run in the morning, even though I made myself go outside and even head down the block. but Iwasn't into it, so I called it a day after ~800 yds. Then I packed my bag for a midday run, but needed to talk to someone about work issues over lunch, so I didn't get it done. Fall-back plan was to get in 5 miles while the Elder Child was at honors band practice, but he called me while I was in the car to let me know he forgot his clarinet and music stand at school. So, none of it happened.

but today, feeling not much different, I forced myself to go at least 3 miles. that's Saturday's schedule, so I can squeze in 5 tomorrow and 5 on Saturday and the week will not be a total wash. So I ended up with just over 4 miles done. go me. yip-pee. whatever.

we leave tonight for San Antonio. then tomorrow we drive the rest of the way down the Shrine in the Valley (and a loverly 2-hour visit with my parentals) , before heading back to SA for a trip to SeaWorld Saturday morning. Then back to Casa Skatemom Sunday, where a week's-plus of laundry will be waiting for me. can you tell I'm thrilled by the concept of spending 20 hours in the car over the next three days? Let me clarify in case you missed it -- yip-pee. Oh, and none of this trip was our idea, nor do we have any say, really, in any of the itinerary. But my kids get a trip to SeaWorld, which we otherwise wouldn't do, because that place is kind of a beating, and it's so dreadfully hot down there, and yeah, you get the point. just check this out:

San Antonio, TX

Current Conditions (as of 4:53 AM)Today's forecast
°F | °C

Feels like: 70°F

arometer: 29.9 in rising
Dewpoint: 67°
Humidity: 90%
Visibility: 10 miles
Wind: 0 mph
Sunrise: 7:25 AM
Sunset: 7:23 PM

90 percent Humidity? Oy. in any case, I'm taking the laptop and will blog from the road if I can find wireless anywhere. Peace out.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

very short post

5 miles.
53 minutes.
cool outside, no humidity.
Sluggish first mile --11:06!
Wicked fast 2nd mile --10:04!
More later.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

18 miles

done. in the books. I had mapped out a route last night that pretty much guaranteed that I wouldn't fall short. I loaded up the double-barreled water bottle holder, the garmin and the iPod, and headed out the door rounabout 5:20. I decided to set the garmin for 10 minute/1 minute splits instead of my usual 1 mile/1 minute repeats, just to see how it went. I knew I'd get out of synch with the splits, but didn't mind so much because I was really just more concerned with getting in the full distance, taking both the running segments and the walk breaks into consideration.

the weather was amazing -- about 6 miles in, I passed a sign that indicated it was still only 60 degrees out, and the humidity was non-existent. It was very nice, and i was dressed perfectly for it in shorts and a short-sleeved tech shirt. Bright yellow, of course.

I felt really good all throughout the run, even in the late going. No ankle issues, no shin problems, and only a little bit of a knee twinge early on that dissipated almost as soon as it came on -- I think that may have been caused by the canting of the pavement at that point. No stomach issues, nor feelings of hitting that dreaded wall, even though I didn't eat before I headed out and had some hunger pangs about mile 5-6. But I really felt fine besides that. Toward the end, my feet were hurting, but it didn't slow me down tremendously. And hello, it's to be expected -- I just ran for three hours!

So, here is breakdown:
Total time: 3:26:32
Total distance: 18.oo miles
"rest"/walking time: 18 minutes
"rest"/walking distance: 1.08 miles
Calories burned: 2435

No splits since they are for 10-minute segments instead of miles, and they'll mess me up. I do know that counting walk breaks in, average pace was 11:28. Which will do. If i can maintain that for the remaining 8.2 miles come October 29, I'll be in good shape. We shall see.

Now to rest up a bit. We may try to catch the last game of the season down at the ballpark this afternoon -- if we do, the boys will have completed a sports trifecta this weekend, with the Stars on Friday, the 'Horns yesterday and MLB today. Too bad the 'boys aren't on Monday night or they could go 4 for 4.

Peace out. Nap time.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's hot... hot... and have I mentioned?

how freakin' hot it is? Weather Channel says it's 79, but I don't believe them. I believe the lava pits of Mustafar weren't this freakin' blazing. Unbelieveable. But I did 4 miles, so I'm done for the week, with the exception of that 18-miler. Which has to be done tomorrow. Rain, shine, or lava falling on my head. Has to. We're headed out of town next weekend, so if I get a Sunday run in at all it will be a miracle. so yeah, I'm going to try not to psyche myself out of it. What I need to do is go out and read some run reports and get more strategies on how other folks talk themselves through it.

That's it for now. It looks cloudy and nasty now, so I don't think it will be a good day to linger at the zoo after the party. We shall see. I hope the other boys don't get soaked at the game down in Austin today. Can't decide if that's better than them getting sunburned like they did a few weeks ago!

Peace out and Go! Horns! Go!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

crazy, crazy, crazy

no time to breathe lately, much less post. I was able to catch up on reading most of the folks up and down the blogroll, while waiting for the system today, though.

Hmm, let's see, what's going on? Eating has been better the last two days, but not without much effort. I just have a hard time regulating the sweets, especially when I'm stressed, and trust me, there is so much stress going on right now, I can't begin to describe it. I did choose wisely at lunch today -- we went to a fish place near the office and I went with blackened tilapia, rice and veggies instead of my standard fish tacos or what I REALLY wanted, which was fried catfish and fries.

What else? I've clocked 18 miles so far this week, in three days, actually. I did four on Tuesday, five yesterday, and nine this morning. Today's run involved waking up at 4:30 and hitting the streets at 4:45. Finished in 1:35, for an average of 10:40/mile. The weather was amazing, even with the stiff breeze from the south. Elder Child gave me this little itty battery-operated finger-tip light to use, and it was quite handy for those dark spots on the park trail that are out of reach of the lights. It illuminated a good few feet in front of me, and actually kept me from falling on my face at one curb. So, that was nice, and it was sweet that my boy worries about me while I'm out trying to be some kind of athlete.

The shin was fine today, too, which was a huge relief. Later in the day (about the time I would have taken a nap had this been a weekend!), my lower quad and upper calf were very sore on that leg, though, which makes me think I did something to my gait on that side. But it may also have been related to sitting at my desk for three hours straight coding queries, which isn't really in my job description anymore, but I needed to do it today for several reasons. Can't get into it here, though. Not yet.

So, that's it from these parts. Tomorrow the Elder Child and Hub have tickets to a Stars preseason game, so no Date Night. And on Saturday, DinoBoy and I will be going to an early morning birthday party at the FW Zoo for two of his classmates, but then we're meeting his godmother for lunch. After that, she's taking him for the rest of the weekend. By that time, Hub and Elder Child will be at Royal Memorial Stadium watching this week's slaughter/Longhorn game. Hub scored two tickets on EBay for $46 total, so they're driving down Saturday morning and will be back later that night.

So what is a totally free Skatemom to do with a Saturday afternoon/early evening on her own? The possibilities are endless. Suggestions are welcome, so help me out here so I don't spend the day napping.

UPDATE -- ooooh, almost forgot -- Hub scored tickets for the Who in November. Hopping on the Magic Bus, baby! Never mind that there are only two of them left, and that most of the catalog is now used for CSI franchisees. I'm stoked! after this, I'll only need to see the Police (not Sting solo, the Police) , EC, the Stones and Zeppelin (ain't gonna happen, sadly) to die happy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

two things

OK, more than that, but there were two front and center when I started :) :
  1. the shin is bothering me again. I'm starting to get a bit worried. More ice tonight, and we'll see how it does tomorrow morning.
  2. 4 miles this morning. negative splits; total time 42 minutes flat. No humidity. It was glorious. I even wore one of my long-sleeved tech shirts.
  3. My nutrition is for sh!t these days. I know better, but I'm under a bit of stress here. I didn't track on SparkPeople Friday, Saturday, Sunday OR Monday. Bah. I tracked today and kept ~1450 calories. But it was junky calories, and I'm sure I missed something along the way.
  4. My weight has maintained for the last two weeks. No loss, no gain. Miracle of miracles with all the junk I've been eating. I've still got to drop another 7-8 pounds before the end of October. It CAN be done, but not with these habits.
  5. The front office is done. Furniture was fully delivered and assembled Sunday. Photos and diplomas are up. All we need is an art-quality print of Vince Young to complement the existing print of Earl Campbell. We're looking for an actual litho, though, not a photo, so we're still searching. Hook 'em indeed!
  6. Tomorrow's 9 miles will have to wait until Thursday. Hub has to take Elder Child to band practice at 6:30, and I wont' be back in time to get the boy up and fed unless I leave at 4:15. And that AIN'T happening.
  7. Laundry sucks. Completely. I did the boys' school uniforms Sunday, but everything else is sitting in baskets waiting for *someone* to fold it and put it away.
So there were 7 instead of 2. Consider them a bonus!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

so NOT Iron....

hell, I'm not even made of aluminum foil. Try soft-in-the-middle plaster with a chipped coat of some shiny paint in an approximation of a bronze sheen. I am such a weenie wussy wimp.

Here's the deal. After waking up to rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightning outside my window, I sat here on the computer for a bit then resigned myself to the treadmill. I set it for 95 minutes, 5.0 mph, set the TV to Nick at Nite for a little Roseanne/Mad About You reruns, and started up. Bah. Not into it. After not quite a mile, I decided to just walk hills instead. So after pounding out a bare 5 miles of hills in about 75 minutes, I saw that strange greenish glow out the window that seemed to indicate the sun had come up. so I ducked into the bedroom, told Hub I was going out after all, and hit the streets for a quick 3 miles.

Um, not so quick. It had rained earlier, but the pavement had dried up. apparently, all the water from the pre-dawn storms had not quite evaporated into the air. Ugh. So humid. And I was just slow and plodding and it wasn't fun. You know those days when running is just effortless? when the breathing comes so naturally, and you get in a groove early and everything feels right? This was not one of those days. This was the Bizarro opposite of those days. It was gross. I even had to stop and walk about the 1.5 mile point, right before my turnaround point at the water fountain. The splits were pa-tet-ick, emphasis on the ick, and I'm not even going to grace this page with their presence. Let's just say that middle mile was nearly 12 minutes and leave it at that.

The other factor I think that may have played into my lousy performance this morning was the horrendous headache I had last night. We didn't leave dinner until 10:30, so by the time we picked up the boys and put them in bed, it was nearly 11:00. I laid in bed and tossed and turned, with my head pounding, until almost midnight. I only had one peach bellini, honest, and it was really small, but I think the champagne in it did me in. I drank it right around 7:00ish, and spent the rest of the night pounding water, because I felt very dehydrated afterward. It's just been so long since I've had any amount of alcohol, really I've never been much of a drinker to start with, and it just didn't do much for me. So now I know.

So, yeah, that's pretty much it for today. With today's truncated run, total mileage for the week is still 29 miles. So now we re-arrange the plan and try for next Sunday for the 18-miler. The boys are spending the weekend with their godmother, so that will give me no excuses about how long it takes me. I'll just have to get it done, especially if I ever want to get some metal in me.

Careful what you ask for....

you might just get it. Dangit, i wanted some rain this morning (actually, I believe I requested it for last night, to clear up right about now), so this is what I get. See that yellow patch? RIGHT OVER MY HOUSE!

And there is lightning and thunder -- I could hear the rumbling when I first woke up, and it's only gotten louder since I've been waiting for a break.

Treadmill time. Ugh. I may need to settle for 10-12 this week, and try again for the 18-miler next week. Schedule says 18 this week, then 12, then 13, so I have time before the 20-miler. I just CAN"T do 3.5 hours straight on the TM. Sorry. I might be able to pound out 10 inside, but that's about my limit before I have to pull my eyeballs out with a spork.

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

You want to be inspired?

You want to laugh, cry and be amazed all at once? Read this.

It's long, but man, words cannot express my emotions when I read that. Go, you'll see what I mean. Supreme thx (again) to Flatman for the link -- I'd have never found him otherwise, I don't think.

Brutal run -- pray for rain

I call BS on this MSN weather reading:

Feels like: 79°F

Barometer: 29.9 in steady
Dewpoint: 72°
Humidity: 78.6%
Visibility: 10 miles

Particularly, I call major BS on the "feels like: 79," because, um, NO. It's freakin' riddickerous out there right now. I'm pretty sure I lost at least two pounds of H2O weight just in a little 40-minute run. I had a hella time keeping my HR down -- even without the monitor, I could feel it racing, and I had to consciously keep the pace down. Or at least I tried to focus on posture and positioning and not worry about the time. I wanted to be sure this was a recovery run, and not wear myself out before tomorrow's LSD.

Today's splits, with commentary:
Mile 1 -- 10:43 -- shins were a little tight on the first few blocks, but then no worries. Um, does it feel a bit sticky out today?
Mile 2 -- 10:18 -- Whoa, slow it down, girl. don't leave it all out there in mile 2. Took a ~10 second break at the fountain in the park .
Mile 3 -- 10:46 -- here is where I felt myself really working too hard, so I reined it in. Um, yeah, it's pretty hot out here... Stopped again at the water fountain on the way back.
Mile 4 -- 9:18 -- I got a "weak GPS reading" beep right at .8 miles, and then very soon afterward I got the mile beep. I think this is not for a full mile, but more like .9, maybe .93. I'm going to need to upload it and check it against this same route two weeks ago and GMaps.

It is very, very muggy, and while there is a bit of a breeze from the southeast, if you're not headed directly into it, it's downright miserable out there.

I'm really hoping this breaks and we get some rain THIS AFTERNOON.... not tomorrow morning. Frankly, while I know I can do tomorrow's run in the rain, I'd really rather not. I'll be thinking about Wil, and TriSaraTops, and Chris if it does rain, though. Hell, I'll be thinking about them anyway -- those guys and everyone else who ran that monstrosity in Wisconsin last weekend are seriously inspirational. I added them to the blogroll this week after getting to them via Flatman -- thanks to him for giving me another reason to get up and out the door on days like today. Those Iron folks make me feel, well, insignificant, for "just" running a 'thon. Dang, how upside-down and backwards is that? Alls I know is I think I need to find me a swim coach... and a bike....

Peace out -- I've got to fix me a nice PB-chocolate protein smoothie now to reward meself for my little ol' 4-miler. Then, we've got dinner club tonight -- Italian theme, with LOTS of carbs for tomorrow's run! just got to stay away from the bellinis....

Thursday, September 14, 2006

8 miler

Nothing quite as satisfying as getting in a nice little 8-mile run before work on a weekday. :) Certainly brings a different feeling when folks say "good morning" at the office to know that I've already been up for 4 hours. Especially because I thought the knee was going to screw me up for the week, it felt really good to get a nice, easy, comfortable run in.

Of course, because I'm far from speedy, doing an 8-mile run on a school/work day entails waking up at half-past-ridiculous. I set out my shorts, tank and socks last night, and the shoes were in the bathroom next to the tub where I'd left them yesterday morning. I charged the Garmin last night, as well as the iPod (last week, the Shuffle went dead two songs into a 10-miler! Bah!), so I was loaded for bear with all the essential gear.

I knew I was doing a route near the parks, with water stops from the park fountains at 2, 3.5, 4.5, and 6 miles, so there was no need for the belt pack. I'm getting to not really like the belt pack, which is sad, since I've run so many miles with that, and I really do need it on longer runs, especially in the humidity. But there was no humidity today, oh no, and in fact, it was downright chilly. Heading out at 4:45 AM, I was actually cold until I got into a groove about half a mile in. In the car on the way to school nearly three hours later it was still only 62 degrees, so I imagine it was at least that if not colder when I was out and about. Which sounds great, but when it was 80+ at 6:00 AM less than a week ago, it's not easy to transition.

So, it was a nice, uneventful run. I saw lots of folks over in the park, near the cinder horse path. I very rarely see other runners in my 'hood; lots of folks are walking their various dogs, but few runners. So that was kind of nice -- you can tell the cooler weather is bringing folks out of the woodwork. I never felt like my HR was out of range, but I didn't have my HR monitor on so I can't really tell. I just know it wasn't a hard run. The legs felt fine, except for some twinging on the bruised knee at the outset. The shins are all better now, and the new shoes are broken in nicely after 17 miles in three days. Here are today's splits:
Mile 1 - 10:54
Mile 2 - 11:11
Mile 3 - 10:30
Mile 4 - 10:45
Mile 5 - 10:49
Mile 6 - 10:44
Mile 7 - 10:25
Mile 8 - 10:08
Total Time: 1:25:29
Average Pace: 10:41
Calories burned: 1079

For comparison sakes, here's the summary from Saturday's 8-miler (way more humidity, later in the day, slightly different route):
Total Time: 1:24:24 ~1:00 faster than today
Average Pace: 10:33 ~9 seconds/mile faster than today
Calories burned: 1109 ~30 calories more than today

So I don't know what that means, except that obviously, I was just a bit slower today. I didn't really push myself, I just ran, without much regard to pace or speed. I just ran. In any case, I enjoyed the morning and the weather and my ability to move without pain. And isn't that what's it all about?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hurt, or Injured?

OK, here’s the deal. The scrape itself wasn’t too bad, since I was wearing khakis/jeans when it happened. One large band-aid covered it pretty nicely. I iced last night and took to bed early, right after putting the boys to bed. I set out my gear for this morning, figuring I’d test the knee by at least setting out to do what I could. When I woke up this morning it wasn’t nearly as sore, and almost all the swelling had gone down. I figured that while I might have been hurt, I wasn’t really injured. So I headed out, knowing that I wasn’t going to do the full 8 on the schedule (remember that thing about not switching runs? Never mind, I was delirious, apparently), but maybe could hammer out 4 or 5. I thought if I could do that without pain or limping that I might be able to salvage the 8 tomorrow.

So that’s the approach I took and it seemed to have worked. The first few steps were a little tender, but once I warmed up, it was OK. I spent the run actually taking inventory of all the times I’ve been actually injured, and thought that this doesn’t really fit into the same type of category. I think I may have done this list before, but I’ll do it again so they’re here on the new site, and just because I like to torture myself like this every now and again. And I especially like to remind myself that this crazy trip I’ve taken to being a marathoner has not been easy, because I’m not particularly athletically gifted. Hell, I’m not particularly capable of walking upright most days, at least not without walking into something or falling down. The fun thing is that I actually went a large part of my life without doing serious damage to my body; all of these events, those that required hospitalization or actual medical treatment beyond a band-aid, happened when I was an adult (and responsible for my own healthcare payments – bah!):

Summer 1990 – I was counseling at a summer program on campus. We were about to load the kids (~150 13-16 year olds) onto a bus to take them to the local skating rink. Right before we left, I missed a step in the entryway at Moore-Hill dorm and fractured my right ankle. No skating for me. Spent the next six weeks in an air cast. The guy who introduced me to running was also a counselor, so I had just started my first-ever “training” that summer. Put that on hold.
Late spring 1994 – I was doing step aerobics in my graduate dorm room (instead of writing the thesis..) and my left ankle gave out. I fell to the right, and braced myself on the bookshelf to keep from splitting my head open on it. I limped to the fridge to get ice for the ankle, and when I reached up my right hand I quickly figured out that it was my wrist that hurt. Broke my wrist and spent the next eight weeks in a bright pink fiberglass cast. It was removed the day before my wedding portrait was taken. I never did finish the thesis since I couldn’t type with my hand in the cast.
August 1998 – Hiking in Aspen, CO. We’d just finished the Braille trail. I was in the parking lot and slipped on some gravel (actually, my left ankle gave out –sense a pattern here). I was carrying Elder Child, who was three at the time, and braced with my left arm. Broke the radius and dislocated my elbow. Spent the rest of the Aspen vacation in the hospital. I now have a plate in my arm there that occasionally will raise eyebrows at airport security. And a nice long scar there, too. Totally humiliated my brother, who along with his wife was an active volunteer with Aspen Mountain Rescue, and had to save his own sister in the parking lot. Of the Braille trail.
September 2000 – I was 8 months pregnant with DinoBoy. We had a crazy black lab that would run with me occasionally, but on this morning, I’d left her at home, so I couldn’t even blame her for cutting me off. About two miles from home, I hit a rough spot on the edge of the curb that made my LEFT ANKLE give out and went down. Landed on my left knee and scraped it up fairly deeply and broadly. Road rash on it took two large gauze pads to cover, and they had to be replaced every two hours because of the oozing. The wound took about six weeks to heal, and left a nice gravel indentation and keloid on my knee. Every now and again, Elder Child will ask if I’m sure we didn’t drop DinoBoy on his head because he’s such a spaz, but I guess this explains a lot.
October 2004 – 18-miler. My first ever 18-miler, while I was training for my first White Rock. I’d done six miles in one direction, doubled back and changed out water bottles. I was headed out for three more in another direction and was feeling pretty strong. I stepped on an errant acorn with my LEFT foot, and that made me twist my LEFT ANKLE. I went down, but actually stumbled a few times and almost recovered. But, nope, I hit the ground. Cognizant of the plate in my left arm, and the possibility of fracturing it again if I used it to break the fall, I instead chose to take the brunt of the impact with my mouth. And my left knee. Broke my left front tooth clean in half and, here’s the good news, I also scraped the keloid off the knee! Yee-haw! Looked like I lost a barfight. Obviously, I didn’t do the 18-miler that week. I instead limped home with my hand covering my mouth, trying to keep the blood from dripping onto my favorite YELLOW tank. Scared the heck out of the kids and Hub when I walked in the door, too. Fittingly, it was Halloween, so I endured all sorts of cracks about jack-o-lanterns and missing teeth.

So, I’m due for a fall, and I’ll take this one. I was really probably more dramatic than I needed to be about sabotaging the big race. I just know what happens if you don’t put in the time and the miles, and I’m bound and determined to set a PR this fall. I’m worried that the mid-week mid-range runs aren’t happening like I want them to, and I’m more than a bit concerned about trying to do 18 miles this weekend with a bum knee. The slight adjustments in gait to compensate can cause all sorts of other issues, and I don’t want to deal with those six weeks out. So I might have overreacted a bit. But I’m playing it safe and continuing to ice this week, and doing what I can.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

how to sabotage your marathon....

In seven easy steps:
  1. Walk three abreast on a sidewalk meant for two.
  2. Let your foot slip off the edge of the sidewalk, turning your ankle and forcing you to take a header onto the concrete.
  3. Land on the bad knee. Or, in your case, the worse knee.
  4. The one that creaks already.
  5. The one connected to the shins that have been bothering you for a week.
  6. Limp along all day just getting from one side of campus to the other.
  7. See the knee swell and ache every time you stand up.
Yeah, I am so not going to be able to do 8 miles on this tomorrow morning. New shoes or not. Damn.

New shoes

I found my old favorite trail shoes at Sports Authority this weekend -- Kohl's used to carry them but quit, so the last pair I had were a more lightweight runner. I've been through 3 or 4 pairs of this model and I've always been really happy with them. bonus marks because the trim on the gray shoe is yellow, and yellow is my favorite color. Score! extra bonus because they had size 10 in stock. Yeah, I've got big honking feet. I've adjusted.

the new shoes helped this morning's run tremendously, in that the shins quieted down a lot. Still some lingering tenderness that's going to require ice again tonight, but everything else was fine. except that the humidity is back. we were so kidding ourselves thinking we were actually going to see fall weather in September. bah!

4 miles, attempted recovery pace:

average mile = 10:48

Monday, September 11, 2006

In memory...

I had never been to NYC before August, so I never saw the majesty of the Twin Towers in person. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and the horror of that day in that city, no matter how many times I see the TV images.

My most vivid memory of that day five years ago was driving home, passing the 6th busiest airport in the world, and realizing the silence around me was because of the total and complete lack of planes in the air. Something so normal and so taken for granted was suddenly gone. That made it real.

The local paper called September 10, 2001 the "last normal day in America." Amen. May we never forget.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

10 miles

It was supposed to be 12. But I feel like I need to give my shins a rest (OK, only the right one, but tell me how to rest one and not the other....) and besides that, Hub needs to get to Texas Stadium for some festival thingy for his work, so I had to be back by quarter after 7:00. Besides the shins, which did let up after they warmed up, the rest of the run was great. It's back to normal temperatures around here, which is about four degrees too hot, but the humidity wasn't too terrible, and the rest of me felt great. Pacing was a little crazy, though, which I'm a little concerned with -- splits were not even at all, and they usually are all within a few seconds of each other. Maybe there were a lot of hills. Maybe I'm just uneven.

anyhoo, I'm not too worried about the shins since I've known I need new shoes, and I did just pump up the mileage significantly in the last two weeks. And because of the shuffling of the schedule last weekend, I ended up running six days straight. Normally, the schedule calls for a day off after the long run, and a day between the weekday runs and the weekend. Ya, if I followed the schedule, I might not have these problems. Sheesh, I can be such an ijit sometimes. But I did spend a lot of time online last night comparing symptoms and pain and such to be sure I don't have compartment sydrome (doesn't that sound scary?) or heaven forfend a stress fracture. I was irritated that it was bugging me at the start of the run, and even considered bagging it altogether, but then made a deal that I'd see how it felt after 4 miles. By the end of 3, it was fine. Helped also that I tried a trick I read on about walking on my heels during walk breaks (the poster suggested doing it for 100 yds before starting the run, but as usual, I took sound advice and twisted it to meet my needs...). That seemed to bring a lot of relief.

So, here's the splits, more for posterity's sake than anything else. The last mile is partial because when you add in the walk breaks, I really did cover 10 total miles; total time, including walk breaks was 1:52:02.

Mile 1 -- 11:05
Mile 2 -- 11:03
Mile 3 -- 11:18 (shin shut up right about the end of this mile)
Mile 4 -- 10:47
Mile 5 -- 10:52
Mile 6 -- 10:33 (this was downhill through the park --Wheeeee!)
Mile 7 -- 10:45
Mile 8 -- 11:01
Mile 9 -- 10:49
Mile .44 -- 4:46 (10:53 pace)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Morning run

Eight miles this morning. I got a very late start, thanks to the Entertainment Weekly I found on the floor next to my shoes (dont' ask how it got there...). I had to read about the top 25 high school movies and Deal or No Deal. This was just stupid, but there you go. So I didn't hit the streets until well past 7:00. But I picked a nice route out among the park, circling to another park that has a cinder trail. It was a cool morning despite me going out so late, and there was a lot of humidity in the air, which felt good right at the start, but then got to be a bit sticky later. I was really happy with the splits, though:

Mile 1 -- 10:51
Mile 2 -- 10:27
Mile 3 -- 10:33
Mile 4 -- 10:24
Mile 5 -- 10:21
Mile 6 -- 10:47
Mile 7 -- 10:43
Mile 8 -- 10:15

Average pace over 8 miles -- 10:33. My shins were barking at me a lot between miles 2 and 4, which tells me I need new shoes before next week's 18-miler. But that's about right, since these have about 300 miles on them, and I'll need to break in the next pair with at least 100 miles before the race in October.

Oh, yeah, the race. The Miracle Match Marathon on October 29. It's in Waco, so it's close enough that I can drive down the morning of and hop back in the car afterward. I don't know if I will have the kids and hub drive down or not -- depends on what else is going on that day. Then, if all goes well there, I will do White Rock again in December, for the 3rd year in a row. That's what all this is about. I have to remember that when it gets tough, and it's about to get tough. The 18-milers and 20-miler are No Fun. But crossing that line and getting that medal sure as heck makes up for it!

Friday, September 08, 2006

can I just say??

how much it creeps me out that the Detective Stottlemeyer from "Monk" is the crazy, girl-dressing, "it puts the lotion on it's skin" guy from Silence of the Lambs? shudder

and how much more it creeps me out that Hub insists on watching that creepy movie ALL THE WAY THROUGH every time it's on cable???

speedy gonzalez

or something like it. Rather, what passes for speedy for me:

Mile 1 -- 10:29
Mile 2 -- 9:46
Mile 3 -- 9:13

3-mile total -- 29:29. I haven't been that fast in a while. Amazing what lower humidity, cooler temps, and a nice downhill homestretch will do for you. Of course, I came closer to puking after that last lap (yucky thick spit in the back of my throat -- TMI, I'm sure, sorry, but really, it was gross) than I ever have in my running life. Which I guess speaks to how hard I was gunning it there at the end. A semi-regular breathing cadence helped, too. But I saw that 9:46 for the second mile and knew today was as good a day as any to see how fast I could go. I have been running for distance so much recently, and just pleased to get out there and keep the extra weight at bay, that I've pretty much not been too concerned with times. But, that 29:29 was nice. Still wouldn't be a sub-30:00 5K, though, and I know I've broken that in at least one race the first year I started running again.

So, yeah, there ya go. And lots of other exciting things going on that can't be told yet, lest we jinx them with arrogant web jou-jou. So. There. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

5 miles

4 miles yesterday. Five today. temps were awesome and humidity was low. splits from today are here:

mile 1 -- 10:44
mile 2 -- 10:45
mile 3 -- 10:23
mile 4 -- 10:13
mile 5 -- 9:53 --boo-yah!!

Yeah, it felt good this morning. hurrah for me. I'll try to check in later with a real post.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Skatemom haiku

stolen from Flatman:

Haiku2 for txskatemom
headed out the door
this morning psyche i'm toying
with finding a race
Created by Grahame

Me likey my haiku!

Monday, September 04, 2006

15.5 miles

So, it's not the full 16, but I'll take it. After opening the front door and confronting a downpour, I did 6 miles inside, watching "Clean House" and the news (so sad to hear about Steve Irwin) . Then, after about 70 minutes, I couldn't handle the TM anymore and headed outside, rain or not. I figured I'd do at least 8 and if need be, finish up the last two on the TM. The worst that could happen was that I'd get wet, and I was already soaked through pretty much, despite the best efforts of the tiny little fan in the playroom. But I ended up pretty much stretching out the outside portion as long as I could and just calling it a day after 9.5 miles. My pace averaged 11:00 on the run parts, and I ended up with .5 walking in the intervals. I could have finished up the last .5 I think, but when I went by the house, both kids were sitting in the front window watching for me and I couldn't bear to circle the block again like it would have taken. They looked like the little kids in the Cat in the Hat books, and it was funny and a bit sad all at the same time. Poor babies were worried about their crazy momma running around in the rain.

The good parts of the run:
  • I got it mostly done. Again, not the full amount, but considering my longest run to date is just over 14, I think I did a decent percentage increase.
  • No blisters. Despite being pretty much soaked by the time I hit the corner by my house, and having wet feet for the entire 1:48 I was out, there were no blisters. Nor did the toes bump along the inside of my shoe like they did last time.
  • Temperature was cool. Yeah, that may have been because of the driving rain... but I'll take it.
  • Hydration. I was able to refill the water bottle before I headed out, and it lasted until right before I hit the house, so I ended up taking 40 oz of gatorade/water mix over the entire 2:58 I was in motion.
  • Pacing. Walk breaks came at just the right time, both on the TM and outside. I started off at faster than 10:45 for the first few miles, then slowed down to about 11:20ish for the second half of the outside run. But the last mile was clocked at 10:49, so I'm happy about that.

The bad:
  • The rain. Totaly serves me right for being a lazy-ass yesterday. It *never* stopped, and at about mile 6, it actually got heavier and more steady.
  • The truck that splashed me. OK, he probably could not have avoided it, but I really don't think he needed to be in the lane next to the sidewalk and I'm quite sure he didn't need to speed up to create the biggest wake possible.
  • The soggy shoes. Not comfortable at all. Nope. Squishy shoes for 9 miles is not fun.
  • The right knee. It's been randomly bugging me the last two days, since Saturday's run, mostly when I get up from sitting for a while. It was barking for a while mid-run, but it seems to have settled down toward the end. I'll have to keep an eye on it and make sure I'm not favoring the other leg and sending me off-balance.
The Ugly:
  • Froggies! One squishy one and another little teeny tiny one that crossed the sidewalk in front of me. I don't like frogs.
  • Sidewalks that are covered with mud. Slippery, slippery, slippery and dangerous. I wasn't worried about the mud, but just about losing traction and biting it. Heaven knows I'm due for a fall, and just my luck I'd do it when I'd end up with my face in the mud and a frog in my path.
So that's it. I got bath, took an awesome soak in the tub with half a marathon bubble bar from Lush (must, must get more), and then fixed a breakfast of pb smoothie (250 calories), 1/2 blueberry bagel w/PB (150 calories) and a granola bar (140 calories), so I'm pretty well re-fueled. Later, slaying the laundry beast and getting ready for school/work again.

the plan

No race. On my own. Single water belt pack instead of the double. Two 8-mile loops. Gallowalking with intervals of 1 mile running, 1 minute walking. I wasn't going to check the weather, but I did, and it says rain. Too bad. If I have to, I'll change shoes and socks for the second loop.

Stay tuned to see how it goes. Heading out now.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Um, yeah, 'bout that 16-miler?

Didn't happen. I was up and dressed and had the Injinini socks on and my shoes (that are really a bit too tight in the toebox, but have another two weeks to go before I can ditch them), ready to head out. And then I checked the weather. The maps clearly showed a big section of rain headed toward me, with showers listed until past 9:00. And I stepped outside and saw big ugly clouds, and it felt like a storm was brewing, so I went inside and crawled back into bed. The last thing I needed to contend with was big puddles making my toes into little raisins when I was 8 miles from home. Yes, Nancy says "Train in adversity, race in adversity" but I just wasn't in the mood for it today, so I put it off. With the holiday tomorrow, I can run it then, and then adjust the rest of the week accordingly (yes, I said no more tweaking the schedule... I lied. I do that occasionally, especially to myself....).

At 8:40, DinoBoy came in and told me he'd been waiting for HOURS for me to come get him from his room. So I woke up (again) and made all the boys pancakes. And I've just finished reading the Sunday paper. And in a minute I'm going to pick up in the kitchen and den, then make a half-hearted attempt to clean the bathrooms (my new housecleaner lady won't come until the 15th) . But, nope, no run today. And as far as I can tell, there was NO rain at all this morning. Psyche.

I'm toying with finding a race tomorrow -- I know there is a 15K in FortWorth somewhere -- and tacking on the extra mileage afterward so that I can get a little extra motivation and some company. That might work, even if it is a bit hotter than it would be if I go out on my own. That might be a better plan to get me through it mentally. And I'd get a t-shirt, too. :) And wouldn't have to worry about toting the belt packs. I'll search the calendars in a minute and formalize my plan by later this afternoon. In any case, I'll have no choice but to get it done tomorrow, even if it is actually pouring down rain. Which would suck, and teach me a lesson about getting out there while the getting is good.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Negative splits, pt II

Just so we know yesterday was not a fluke, I pulled negative splits again today. Even though I felt like I was dying. OK, not really, but it was much more humid than it let on when I first went out the door. I procrastinated getting out the door this morning because Hub left for the Longhorn game (HOOK EM!) at 6:30, which meant I had the whole bed, nay, the whole HOUSE to myself and who am I to look that gift horse in the mouth. So I had to savor it. But then I realized that I still had to get in a run and even though it's September already, let's face it folks, North Texas is still damn hot, even in the morning. And if I didn't beat the sun, I'd be toast. Literally. Because I am such a delicate flower, y'know...

anyhoo, for those of you not corrupted by Runners World online and Running Times and this crazy obsession/sickness/hobby of running (too late, Ben, you're in now), negative splits are when you run the second half of your run faster than the first half. It means you didn't go all out and die in the first mile. It's a good thing. It means you saved some for the finish, and as my 11 year-old says, hung back from the crowd, but then juked 'em in the end. Yesterday's splits were a result of a very slow first mile, I think, but check out these:


This is really close to last year's October times, when I was in much better condition, gearing up for Marine Corps Marathon, and about 10-11 pounds lighter (I think I went to MCM start line at 156, maybe?), so I'm pretty happy with it. Of course, I had to work for that 9:37. Arms pumping, elbows in, hands cupped lightly, thinking about the breathing (step, breath, step, step, step, breath, repeat). Lots went into that mile, but it was worth it.

So yeah, four miles. All this week's mileage is done, except for that little detail of a 16-miler tomorrow. I'm heading out in a bit and getting my gatorade powder so I can go out with my double-barreled water belt (looks like this) instead of my single belt. I prefer the single (and of course mine is orange, would you expect anything else??) because it's not as heavy and it sits better, but if I use that I'll have to loop around and looping is not good on the longer runs for me. I have to go out half the distance in one direction so I have no choice but to finish. If i loop, I have to talk myself out of quitting after one or cutting it short. So, I'll have my gatorade, with some added salt, and the Garmin and the iPod are charging, so I'll be good to go.

Later now. My yard guy is here, and I need a chocolate PB smoothie, and then i must pick up the DinoBoy for skate lessons here in about an hour. Then a short trip to Target, and lunch with my cousin. That should do me for the day! Except I heard yesterday from DinoBoy that his toy bunnies were having a birthday party. And I was invited. Cool.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Negative splits

for the first time in a long, long, long time, I achieved negative splits on my run this morning. Of course it helps tremendously that I clocked a blazing 11:06 mile on the first one out... but nonetheless! anyhoo, 4 miles in the bag, and the weekly mileage is done. a day late, but done. tomorrow is a nice easy 4 and then 16 LSD slated for Sunday.