Archive for April, 2013


LSSD

To non-runners, we sound like we’re on drugs when we talk about LSDs. Although they may have a point since a lot of people can’t imagine wanting to run for the pure enjoyment of it pushing through pain and fatigue mile after mile. Everyone wants mileage euphoria AKA runner’s high.

But LSD is a Long Slow Distance. I guess last week’s LSD should have been coined an LSSD: A long slow SOGGY distance. I had decided to do my 5 mile minimum run in the pouring rain. Luckily, there was no thunder or lightning and the temperature was still in the low 60’s. I’m convinced that my rain soaked clothes and shoes added at least 10 pounds of weight.

I had a hard time convincing myself to go for my run. I had avoided it all day because of the rain, but with daylight on its last legs I “just wanted to get it over with.” I through on my running tights and a short sleeve and long sleeve tee thinking that ought to cover it. I took one step out the door and decided a light jacket would help maintain some amount of warmth and dryness. Please keep in mind that this was just an ordinary fleece jacket with absolutely zero water resistance at all. In fact I checked the label and almost expected the material to say “Sponge”.

Almost immediately my shins began to hurt. It definitely wasn’t as bad as shin splints but I became concerned that this is where I was headed in my training. The rain wasn’t heavy but I was becoming adequately wet. Cue puddle number 1 out of a zillion. I ran a few hundred meters on a busy road with a minimal shoulder. If a car was in the lane closest to me I chose to run in the uneven ground being careful to avoid rolling ankles. Drivers have a hard time noticing runners enough as it is. Throw in some rain and darkness and I was living on the edge. Between miles 2 and 3 it began to downpour! Lucky me! On the bright side I worked through the pain in my shins and I was good to go. Around mile 2.5 an old pair of earphones bit the dust thanks to the water shorting out the right speaker. It probably wasn’t smart of me to run in the rain attempting to listen to music anyway. So I shoved the now useless earbuds in my pocket and began singing Marine Corps cadence to myself. I have to admit that I began to appreciate the rhythmic splashing my feet were making on the ground while keeping in time with the cadence.

My eyes were stinging as rain mixed with my sweat and poured down my face. Which of course made my eyes water. Because that’s all I needed to make this run perfect. I braved the same 300 meters of the car gauntlet back towards my neighborhood. A HUGE thank you to the car who sent the waterfall of water on me as you passed. How did you know that I needed a rinse?

The rain let up a bit for the final 2 miles. I ran down cul-de-sacs and looped around the same roads just to meet my goal of 5 miles. I hope the neighbors appreciated my impromptu rendition of “Singing in the Rain” at the end. You’re welcome. I wound up running 5.43 miles at a 12.23 pace. In the end, I was so soaked that I had to strip down on my front stoop behind the cover of a towel and wring out my gear (thankfully my ipod made it through unscathed). My neighbors may have gotten a short lived show as my husband handed me the smallest of our bath towels. I think he did it on purpose. 😉 Thank goodness for a drying rack that came with our dryer. I’m convinced its purpose is solely for drying running shoes.

Drying rack for the win!

All in all, I’m so grateful I sucked it up and ran. It really did feel refreshing to run through the puddles and actually enjoy the cruddy weather we’ve been having here lately. Although, I wouldn’t be disappointed if my next LSSD stood for Long Slow Sunny Distance.

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Week two? Already? It so doesn’t feel like 14 days of training. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll let you know. Here’s what my week looked like:

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 3.85 miles (45:30 time/11:49 pace)

Wednesday: 4 miles (46:07 time/11:31 pace)

Thursday: Leg workout (squats w. kettlebell, lunges, calf raises)

Friday: Core workout (planks, crunches)

Saturday: 1.92 miles (21:08 time/11:00 pace)

Sunday: 5.43 miles LSD (01:07:16 time/12:23 pace)

 

If you have taken note of my original training plan you can tell that I’ve tweaked it a little already. I decided that long slow distance days are incredibly necessary for my training. So every Sunday I will do a long slow distance, increasing mileage ever so slowly. This will be my only day to concentrate on mileage rather than time spent running. My pace will (hopefully?) improve as my training progresses and while I’d love to finish the marathon in 4 hours or less (that equates to a 9 min pace) I’ll just be happy to make it through without the pace van taunting me from behind.

Since today is my rest day I will enjoy being lazy… and by “being lazy” I mean “taking care of a toddler, doing laundry, & continue unpacking.” I’m hoping all my fellow 1st time marathoners are doing well and are injury free. Keep it up!

Heart & Soleus Review

My new Soleus FIT 1.0 GPS watch came in the mail last Wednesday… just in time to figure out how to use it before marathon training.

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My first impressions…

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The watch itself is pretty big which is helpful when looking down to see your pace or distance but looks pretty ridiculous on my small wrist. On the bright side, it is adjustable enough will fit very small to pretty large wrists. Straight out of the box it was already charged 50%. If you are really impatient you could head out for a run right away but I couldn’t leave my kiddo so I attached the charging cable (came with the watch) and in 5 hours we were all set to go. I took the time to read the manual and become acquainted with all of the bells and whistles.

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I took it on a week’s worth of workouts. And even my husband was brave enough to sport the fluorescent pink watch on one of his runs. Let’s just say it’s easy enough to use that I explained how to get the GPS up and running (so punny) so that my husband was out the door in literally 15 seconds.

The only thing that tripped me up is that if you utilize the back light during the evening hours you can press any button to provide the light, but then you have to press the button you want again to say…. start the chronometer. Yeah, so needless to say there was a run where I had to estimate my mileage because I ran a good distance without realizing that my timer was not… well, timing.

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Overall I’d give the Soleus Fit watch an A-. Ease of use: A-. Functionality: A. GPS Accuracy: A- Durability: time will tell. I wish they included the USB upload cable instead of the USB cable since the upload cable also charges the watch (or at least give the option to have one versus the other included in your order and just pay the difference). So now I have to order the upload cable separately and have both. I wish I could compare it with similar watches by Garmin or Nike but I’ve never used them. From what I can tell the Soleus watch shares very similar functions but the Soleus has a lower price. It definitely fits my needs and accurately depicts the information I need for my type of workouts. It doesn’t, however, have an interval timer. Soleus does sell watches that have that function but it’ll cost you a bit more.

I’m definitely happy with my purchase because it’s really helped me keep focused on my trainings and it highlights my improvements. I really love knowing what my pace is so that I can make adjustments during my run rather than realize it after the fact. I feel like I should have hopped aboard the GPS watch train a long time ago! Does anyone else out there have a healthy love affair with their GPS watch or is it just me?

Marathon training week one recap

My marathon training is not off to a good start. I ran on Monday and Wednesday. I was supposed to run for 30 minutes of Friday and then at least 5 miles on Sunday. Those last two training runs just did not happen. I wasn’t happy about it. Moving into a new place just took up too much time and energy. While I didn’t have to carry a lot of heavy items. I was the one that packed and unpacked the majority of our belongings which meant repeatedly bending at the waist. Needless to say my lower back really took a beating and I didn’t feel it was wise to run with a sore back. I do however consider it all a form of exercise at the very least. My cardio for the weekend consisted of many trips up and down stairs. If I’m ever in a pinch for a workout running up and down our staircase for 20 minutes might do the trick. It seems that whenever I’m downstairs I always need something that I left upstairs and vice versa. Murphy’s law seems out to get me lately.

Well, lesson learned. Do not start a marathon training the same week you move to a new place. There’s still some packing and unpacking to do while we’re transitioning fully from the old homestead. My training for week two will still be the same since will be 2 days of running for 30 minutes and 2 days of running for 45 with a core and shoulders/arms workout thrown in for good measure. I may throw an extra 45 minute run in there if I’m feeling guilty for skating on week one’s schedule.

Should I just forgive myself for not doing my intended miles or push myself a little extra this week to make up for lost time/miles?

Juggling

Today will be a short post, but I just wanted to check in.

This week has been a whirlwind. I started my marathon training and we’re moving to a new place. I guess I like to keep things interesting. I’m not a big fan of packing, moving, changing all my records to show my new address, etc. I’m not sure anyone out there is. And I have to admit it’s extremely difficult to pack up anything with a curious toddler wanting to pull everything back up. I think it goes without saying that most of my packing has been done in the last 24 hours. Luckily we’re moving a whole 15 minutes away and we have two weeks to get settled there and clean our previous residence. No rush.

My training is on track and I actually feel really good. While my first run was lack luster my second run this week was great. I didn’t experience any pain and moved at a decent pace. I have to find time to run sometime today which will most likely be my final run in the former neighborhood. It’s a great neighborhood surrounded by million dollar homes. (My family is NOT located in one of those homes… a moderate apartment that served us well for three years.) I loved going for runs and walks in these neighborhoods just to admire the massive homes. Am I the only one that does that? I also love those neighborhoods because there’s rarely any car traffic which helps because often there aren’t any sidewalks. Oh South Charlotte. I will miss you.

But now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things! More miles. Minimizing clutter. And enjoying the wonderful weather of course. Sweet tea for all!!!

The Struggle

Yesterday was like a dagger to my heart. As an American. As a runner. As a former resident of the Boston area.

Like many I am left with so many conflicting emotions. To sort through them even a day later is still a difficulty and it may continue to be one for a long time. I empathize with the runners who worked so hard to qualify and then were cheated… not only out of a race they deserved to run but out of an environment where they feel safe. How horrid for the spectators who were cheering on their loved ones or even complete strangers. So many victims.

My heart aches for my dear friends in Boston who are left to deal with the outcome of the events and their emotions. They will have to continue to walk the streets with uncertainty and fear. I wish I could ease their pain and sadness. But Boston as I know it will come together.

But mostly, I feel so confused. What was the point? I imagine the perpetrator watching the news with a distorted sense of smug satisfaction that this faceless figure accomplished… what exactly? Extinguished innocent lives. Devastated a nation. Caused thousands to fear for their safety. I’m so tired of selfish misguided individuals preying upon the vulnerability of others. I’m angry that this is the world we live in… That I have to raise my son in a generation where I have to find the words to merely attempt to explain why someone armed IEDs at a marathon, heartlessly massacred an elementary school, or viciously attacked a movie theater. I want so much to shield him from this, but perhaps I am luckier than most. My son is too young for this tragedy to leave a lasting scar on his innocence.

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration and triumph. Now Patriot’s Day in Boston will never be the same.

But…

We will fight. We will support. We will overcome.

And so tonight I will carry on with my marathon training. No one can take away my desire and love for running. I will run. I will endure. I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.

Editor’s note: Embarrassingly I forgot to mention something. I feel GRATITUDE. This is for all those who came to the aid of the wounded whether they were bystanders, police, medical workers, marathon volunteers. I am grateful that I can look upon communities forging bonds of resiliency and for being given the opportunity to share these words.

MCM training week one

Two posts in one day! Must be your lucky day!

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Looking back on my self-made training plan makes me feel… well, nauseous. But after the nausea subsides I feel encouraged. I have a plan. That is fact alone is consoling.

Let’s see what’s in store for me this week.

Run 30 minutes for 3 days and 45 minutes 1 day. Weightlifting/cross-training to engage core 1 day.

This week is also when we move from our apartment to a townhouse. So I think it’s safe to say that my cross-training will consist of lifting heavy objects with many, many repetitions.

Monday: Run 30 minutes.

Tuesday: Run 30 minutes.

Wednesday: Concentrate on stretching. Maybe some yoga?

Thursday: Run 30 minutes.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Cross-train/Moving day!

Sunday: Run 45 minutes. (Goal is to run at least 5 miles.)

This schedule may change just because the day we move our big furniture may switch days due to weather. Improvise, Adapt, Overcome right? I’m going to see how my schedule feels on my body. Maybe I’ll find a professionally made training plan. Maybe I’ll call up my old college cross country coach and see what he recommends. Basically what I’m saying is that I don’t know what I’m doing. There is a small chance that my brain is convinced I’m in the same shape I was in when I was doing track and cross-country in my younger days. Basically, I have an outline and I’m just going to do the best I can. My goal is to run 4-5 days at an easier pace and do at least one long run a week. This is my minimum. I’m going to listen to my body and if I need to change things up to avoid monotony and injury I definitely will. Just because my plan calls for 120 minutes of running doesn’t mean I can’t do 120 minutes of repeats or a tempo run or a hill workout.

I’ll let you know how this all went at the end of the week. Plus look for a review on my brand spankin’ new GPS watch!

If anyone out there has a training plan that worked well for their first marathon feel free to pass the link along!

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