Bib swap

You know it’s been a long time since you’ve updated the blog when you have to go back and read your last post to see when it was that you last updated your blog. (And then you see a ton of comments you haven’t approved or replied to and feel a little bad about that.)

I’m out for Cellcom. My husband successfully assumed the registration (thank you, Cellcom for allowing people to transfer bibs) and he has started a last-minute “cram for the half” training plan. His goal is to just finish (which he’ll totally do) and I know when he gets to the starting line he’ll probably go nuts and end up PRing or something. More power to him.

The decision to drop was based on a number of reasons, all of which I won’t get into here right now but there was definite training plan burn-out involved. Add in the hockey weekends and missed long runs and when it came down to it, I didn’t feel I’d be able to do the race justice. This is the first time I’ve deliberately dropped from a race for which I’ve registered. I have always been a member of the “run no matter what and finishing is enough” camp, but I’ve gotten to a point in my running life where that just doesn’t work anymore. I don’t know what that says about me as a runner or a person. We can get into the deep therapy sessions later.

I’ve also felt completely off physically and think I need to get back to just enjoying running. This weekend I made it out for a six miler, the longest run I’ve done in, well, a long time.

It was slow and it was easy, and despite the less than favorable weather, it was actually enjoyable. I kept waiting for the stomach cramps or intestinal distress to occur. It didn’t. A happy gut for once, I guess.

So this spring hasn’t quite gone as I’d planned. I shouldn’t even call it spring – do you see how much snow is still on the fucking ground? We’re also getting up to another 12 inches this week. Yeah, spring my ass.

My current state of fitness isn’t exactly what I’d hoped it would be when I committed to running all fall and winter. Some days it feels like all the training I’ve done has been for nothing, but I know it’s not true. (SILENCE THE HEAD VOICES!)

I’m out for Green Bay but not out completely. We’ll see how things go for awhile. Meanwhile: enjoy running. That’s the whole point, right?

A runcationference

You know you’re a runner when you’re packing for a conference and realize you’ve packed more running gear than regular clothes and still wonder if you can fit in another pair of running shoes. Just in case.

Last week I flew out to Seattle for An Event Apart, a web design conference for those of you who are wondering. You can read a slightly navel-gazing recap here. And while I could go on for days (or at least hours) about this experience, this is a running blog, not a web design blog (clearly). So I’ll spare you. But I did run while I was away. Because when it’s in the mid to upper 40s and there isn’t a fucking hint of white shit on the ground, how can you NOT run?

Oops, not the greatest photo. I don’t even think I took a single selfie. I was too in love with it being not winter.

Of the four and a half days I was in town, I ran three. Not bad, right? No specific workout in mind, no goals, no set pace. One morning I ran down toward the aquarium, almost killed myself on a frosty dock, and ran back the other way toward a really wonderful park (Centennial Park), where I ran the following two days.

Unfortunately, I fell ill for the last two days and was pretty much wiped out for the tail end of the conference (a workshop that I struggled to endure, not because of the content or presenter, but because I was barely holding it together physically). Add flying back in a snowstorm, getting rerouted and having to arrange alternate transportation back home and well, just recovering and accepting that I am back in a place with ten-foot high snowbanks…

You’d be a little worn out, too.

I press on. Today I went on a spontaneous 30 minute run sans Garmin at lunch. It pays to keep multiple pair of running shoes and the emergency Rogas in your office.

I still feel like I’m recovering but at least the snow is melting.

Spring fail

Still here! Winter, that is. Spring, you’re falling down on the job.

Sorry, an old picture, but if I take another photo of snow I might lose it.

Last week’s weather was enough to miss a few TPOD workouts, which I’ve decided I am totally okay with (progress) and since I managed to still put in at least 30 min of something (biking or running) that I don’t feel completely useless.

In fact, I imagine this is how normal people work out. This TPOD has been enlightening. Adding this second season of race training has really been difficult for many reasons: the shit weather, the added obligations and truth be told, a destination race that if I’m honest, isn’t really getting me excited. At all.

Maybe I am not cut out for training for a major spring event. I put an incredible amount of time and effort into fall marathon training. It might just boil down to not wanting to add another cycle.

Nevertheless, I trudge on. My back has been really awful, which doesn’t help, but I did get out for an easy stress-relief run last night. No real target in mind, which felt nice. All I had to do was run.

Today should be a long run for me since I fly out for Seattle tomorrow morning (!!!), but we’ll see how it goes. If I do get out (and the weather is supposed to be relatively warm), it will be because I haven’t put in a long effort in awhile and miss the feeling of accomplishment, not because it’s a thing on my calendar.

In continued TPOD news…

Yesterday, I skipped the interval run. I knew I had a window of lunch time to get it done. I felt like shit. The soles of my feet hurt. My legs were tired. I decided to bail.

I hate bailing on scheduled workouts, but this is all a part of the listening to your body and remembering the world isn’t going to come to a screeching halt if you skip a workout.

I had also done intervals on the bike that morning, so I wasn’t a completely lazy ass.

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I didn’t think adding in bike workouts would make me this tired, but whoo-boy. Maybe I’m overtraining, though I tend to think that I mostly just overthink things.

Got on the bike again this morning for my easy 30 min spin.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 2.07.50 PM I’ve been feeling really nauseous lately (no, it’s not *that*, and I know, having been there twice already) and this morning, in addition to awful back cramps (god, am I in labor and don’t know it?) and just feeling shittastically awful, I stayed home to do some work from the comfort and quiet of my own living room/reclined position on the couch. It was absolutely the right decision.

After lunch I decided that an easy 30 min run (with a necessary stop at the mailbox) couldn’t make me feel any WORSE than I was feeling, so I did. The roads were snowy and sloppy and I forgot the spikes at home, but the weather was very decent. And verdict: I don’t feel worse.

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I also don’t feel fast, but I guess that’s why they call it EASY.

But here’s the big news of the day: I think I’ve got a theory re: my stupid arches.

I’ve had some arch pain in my left foot for a long time now. Mostly I just try to ignore it but I think I end up striking on the outside of my left foot in an attempt to avoid it. I’m sure I’m totally screwing myself up for (running) life.

Today I cut up an old insert from a pair of Nimbuses and did a hack job of taping it underneath the arch of the insert of my Cascadias. And cue the angels in heaven in all their running glory, because no pain. In the arch. At all.

So I’m thinking perhaps my left foot has a higher arch than my right (I can wear any neutral shoe on my right foot with no problem), and does this mean I should try an insert for the left shoe? It is probably preferable to ghetto-taping foam in my shoe like I’m doing.

I’m happy to have discovered this but on the other hand, not happy to kind of confirm that I probably need to make some serious adjustments in my running footwear as soon as I can. Hip pain? Knee pain? Ah, so that’s why. Oops.

It’s not my favorite

If my daughter doesn’t like something, she’ll tell you, “It’s not my favorite.” I don’t know where she picked this up (husband insists I say this all the time) but it’s kind of become this running joke in our house.

Want to wash the dishes? It’s not my favorite.

Ham salad? It’s not my favorite.

Want to run a 5K for time?

While I’ve run this distance plenty of times, rarely am I doing it completely balls out against the clock. This winter I put down a pretty impressive indoor time (25:26) but after yesterday’s performance, I’m wondering if my Garmin was drunk that day.

The plan: run a warmup, do the 5K, cooldown. End up somewhere around 4.5 miles.

I set up a workout in my Garmin so that it would actually record the time of the 5K and not give me weird mile lap information since I wasn’t starting the timer with the START button.

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It was cold but not terribly windy, and I decided to go out and back on the highway, knowing I’d have dry pavement.

I didn’t really consider that it would be slightly uphill on the way back into town, which was really stupid.

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Okay, so I realize this is only a change of about 100 ft but when you’re trying to run something for an actual time, I think this is about the dumbest thing you can do.

Warmup was fine, though slow. Picked up the pace and didn’t really pay much attention to the pace, since I was focusing most of my energy on keeping my shit together and not barfing on the side of the road (and getting run over in the process). I’ll be completely honest when I tell you that at the halfway point, I was ready to chuck this stupid “race” in the ditch and trot back home. I think I found some sort of stupid mantra to keep me going, though I can’t tell you what it was because I can’t remember. Too delirious at this point.

It turned out that I turned around a little too early and had to run past my start mark on the highway. Not the end of the world, but there’s nothing like getting back to where you think you’re finished and realizing, fuck, I have another .25 miles to run. FUCK.

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28:10. Definitely NOT a PR for this distance for me, and it felt pretty awful.

Heart rate was right where it probably should be – slightly higher than a 10K rate for me. Being kind of new to this “racing” thing, I’m not sure if I did it right. I don’t feel like I had much more to give, and honestly, just the fact that I was able to hold this pace for that long is fine by me.

Conclusion: you guys can keep your 5Ks to yourself. It’s not my favorite.