Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Recovery Week

I took a look at my training schedule yesterday and noticed that it said RECOVERY WEEK. Damn. I know what that means…the run test. I’m not a huge fan of the run test. Ok, I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of working really hard (yes, I do realize that this is a problem) and the run test makes you run really hard. It is geared to test where you are at in your fitness and reset your heart rate zones if needed, so you must go all out fast. I’m not a fan of running really fast for a short amount of time, which is one of the main reasons why I don’t do those 5K’s. Yes, I’m aware that I am a wuss, but whatever, give me a ten mile run any day. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Even though it’s recovery week, I’m still not sitting around on my butt eating cheetos every night (well…maybe the cheetos part), I’ve got workouts scheduled each day. This morning, I got up to do an hour bike ride. Rick rode his bike to work this week, so I rode part of the way with him. Wednesday I will do an easy paced 45 minute run, Thursday is weight training day, Friday is another easy run, Saturday is the damn test, and Sunday is a recovery bike ride. So basically, I’m only working out in half the amount of time that I normally do. I’ll take it, my legs are tired and they need to regroup.

On a different note; I hopped on the ole scale the other day to check out my weight. I don’t normally worry about checking my weight and quite honestly, I don’t want to know....as long as my pants fit, I'm good. I was shocked to see that I had put on about 5 pounds and had broke the 120 lb mark. It’s been a couple of months since I had last checked, but good lord, 5 pounds in a couple of months? This didn’t really sit that well with me, I’m training for a marathon, shouldn’t I be losing a few pounds, not gaining??? Yes, I know that I’m gaining muscle and losing fat…yada…yada…yada, but FIVE POUNDS OF MUSCLE? I guess it’s time to cut out those cheetos……

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Colorado Bike Trip 2009

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area

Every year, while Madison is away visiting family, Rick and I pack up our mountain bikes and head off in search of fun and adventure. We were going to go to Moab again this year, but decided to explore a little of our own backyard in Colorado. We’ve lived here for two years now and there are still so many great places that we haven’t seen yet. So, after doing a little research on where we should go, we packed up and headed to Salida, Colorado. Salida is a cute, tiny little town that is nestled amongst some of the most gorgeous mountain views that I have ever seen, plus it is very close to Denver. We had thought about driving down to Durango, but decided that the distance to Salida was perfect for an extended weekend. We left work a little early on Wednesday afternoon and made it to our downtown condo in a little over three hours. Our condo was dog friendly, so we brought Piper (a.k.a. Dog) on our vacation. She was very excited to be there and had the whole place sniffed out in minutes.


Salida was over 7,000 ft in altitude and most of the bike trails started at 9,000 ft and topped at 10,000 or 11,000, so we went out on a hike to get used to the altitude. I had done an 8.5 mile run the day before, so my legs were a little tired and the trail was literally straight up for two miles over rocks and roots, but it was a beautiful hike. Along the way, there were little piles of snow that had yet to melt and it was really odd to see the snow if June. Dog loved it though, she would find a pile and rush over to roll and lay in them. The trail came to an end over tree line and there was a lake surrounded by flowers and the sun was brilliantly reflected off the pristine water. We stayed for a little while at the top while Rick tried out his new fly fish rod and I threw Piper the ball into the water. I hoped that I would spot a Yeti and kept my eyes peeled with the camera close by, but alas…I never saw one. Damn. Rick’s fishing was a bust due to a broken tip on his fishing pole (and the dog bouncing around in the water), so we headed back down to civilization.

Near Salida


Watchdog Lake

We did several mountain bike rides, but my favorite was a 19 mile loop on the Rainbow trail. The trail started out with an eight mile gradual climb up a fire road. I know the fire road sounds pretty dull, but this particular road climbed up through the pines and had gorgeous views of mountain peaks. We eventually came to the single-track trail, which was named Rainbow Trail. Most trails in the mountains have grueling climbs at the beginning of the trail, which can last anywhere between 2 – 5 miles, but this trail was like a roller coaster with rolling hills. Unfortunately, I was just coming off of an inner ear infection and I had been dealing with a mean case of vertigo. I have had this before, and my doctor had said that the ear just had to work itself out and in the meantime, I could take Antivert to lessen the vertigo and nausea. So when I woke up, got out of bed, and the room started spinning, I sent Rick out to pick up some Antivert. Anyway, the medicine lessened the spinning, but I still felt a little disoriented throughout the whole ride each time I would hit a rock in the trail. Basically, I spent the whole ride feeling like I was in a drunken stupor. Towards the end of our ride, the afternoon rain storms came in and we were drenched and spent the last few miles sliding down the muddy trail to our car. We earned that ride.

Near Rainbow Trail

Ready to do the Rainbow Trail

Views from the Trail....that's me biking on the left.

Part of Rainbow Trail. Beautiful ride through an Aspen forest


My legs after the ride/rain. Good thing we brought the old beater car

Salida is near the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. Collegiate Peaks is one of the ten largest wildernesses in the state. There are more fourteeners and high peaks than any other wilderness area in Colorado or the lower 48 states. Eight peaks exceeding 14,000 feet are found here, including the Colorado’s third and fifth highest summits, Mount Harvard and La Plata Peak. Simply put…it was beautiful.

Me-Ma in Salida???

Short ride where we brought the dog. Day before we left.

Painted Tree

Vacations always end way too soon and this one was no exception. I hated to leave, but I’m sure we will be back. Our next goal is to get out to Crested Butte and then to Durango.
I ended my weekend with a nine mile run at a very SLOW pace. My legs were extremely tired, but I had to get the long run in. My goal was ten miles; I’m surprised that I even made it to nine.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Running, Biking, and a great bookstore

I know that I say this every Monday morning right around this same time, but what a GREAT weekend for running and biking.

I’m still working on bringing my mileage back up as part of my marathon training, so I did my long run on Saturday. Last week I did a 7.5 mile run, so this week, I did nine miles. It was a great run mostly in zone 1, or my easy pace, and then around the 45 minute mark, injected a 7 minute per mile pace to break up my run a little and then finished with an easy cool down. My legs felt pretty strong throughout the run. I was trying out some new orthotics that the podiatrist had given to me and I made a deal with my feet. I promised them that if they cooperated with me on the run, they could take the next few days off from running (they didn’t need to know that I had a long bike ride on my schedule for Sunday…I would argue with them when the time came). They agreed and off we went. The orthonics felt weird at first and it took a little while to get used to them and I still wonder if I have them in the correct place. I am supposed to look for a product called Superfeet from my local running store and ask for the ones that have the metatarsal insert. Oh, the things that we have to do in order to keep our feet happy so that we can sadistically run them over many, many miles of hard pavement. Rick suggested that I just go ahead and cut my legs and feet off below my knees and just start over with a good set of titanium prosthetics.

Anyway….I finished up my run and then went home and recovered with some Silk chocolate soy milk and a banana. I did a few light stretches and then got cleaned up. My total mileage for the week was 21 miles. I was averaging around 26 miles for my half training, so I’ve got a ways to go, but the race is still months away.

We headed downtown that afternoon to hang out, have an early dinner, and go to my favorite all time bookstore, The Tattered Cover. The Tattered Cover is a huge three story book store, which has a coffee/sandwich shop and I could spend hours in there if I could. Rick’s mom had given me a gift certificate to the bookstore for Christmas and I still hadn’t used it yet. I bought a couple of Anita Shreve’s books (can’t remember the titles, but I love her books), The Poisonwood Bible, which I have heard is a phenomenal read, and one called The Art of Racing in the Rain. The last one is narrated by a dog (everyone knows that I love dogs) and I have heard good reviews on it, so I thought I’d check it out.

Sunday, we loaded up the mountain bikes and went out to explore new trails. It was going to be a hot day, with temperatures in the 80’s, so I took the big camelback and filled it full with ice cold water. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! It is so much easier to recover from hard exercise when you fuel and hydrate correctly. Yep…. I learned this from my coach. I used to just go out on a long bike ride and I would maybe have a little water and a jelly bean or two. If I was doing really well, I’d take a half of a gel. On my long runs, I would do nothing, no water, no fuel and then I definitely wouldn’t stretch afterwards. I now try to hydrate and fuel properly. It’s made such a difference.

We got to the trailhead around 9:00 that morning and I was delighted to find that the trail went DOWN! Most trails out here head straight up for the first few miles; this one went downhill for the first few miles. After about 10 minutes of downhill action, I began to get scared. When would this trail start to go up? It had to go up at some point; how bad would it be once we finally found the uphill? It finally came, but wasn’t so bad, and then we headed downhill again. What the hell, this is my all time favorite trail! We came upon a group of riders and they confirmed that most of the way that we were going was indeed downhill. SWEET! They gave us a couple of good trail options. None of them sounded too bad, with the exception of the trail with “that hill”. This particular trail had great views, but you had to contend with “that hill”, they even looked at each other with wide eyes and kind of laughed and shook their heads while they were talking about it.

Of course that is the option that we chose when we came to it….the trail with “that hill”. I have learned that when a group of riders look at each other, laugh, and shake their heads while talking about something they have labeled “that hill”, don’t take it. This hill was basically a hike a bike for miles and miles. Our nice, relaxing bike ride, turned into a four hour excursion. I was never so glad to see our car in all of my life.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our Story

I just noticed what day it was…June 18th. Today is Rick and my “unofficial” seven year anniversary. I sent him an e-mail saying “Happy seven years. Here’s to another fifty, or until you kick the bucket.” He replied “Yeah, back at ya.” Can’t you just feel the love? We had our first “date” seven years ago today. We really didn’t know it was our first date at first. We went out with a group of people to see a movie and then just hung out with each other afterwards talking. We talked about what we wanted out of a relationship and why our past relationships had failed. I had known him for three years at that point, but we had always considered each other to be just friends. That night, while we were just hanging out, it came out that we were attracted to each other and then we had our first kiss. I’ll always remember that first kiss and that first “date”. My life from that point forward changed for the better. I had finally found the one. Don’t get me wrong, it was a long hard road to get to where we are today. Relationships take work and they are never easy, but it was worth the wait. We were married this past March 21st. Below is a portion of our wedding ceremony, these are the repeated vows that we said to each other. I think that it pretty much summarizes our relationship.

I take you as my partner, my friend and my love. I promise to always cherish your uniqueness, emotions, and to accept your feelings. To romance your heart, and entice your soul. To never take you for granted and always love you as you are. I also promise to speak from my heart, and let you see the depth of my soul. To be honest and open with you, and not hide my feelings. To not lose myself, and stay true to my nature. For the both of us I promise to seek the path less traveled, to fill our lives with new experiences and to never stop growing. I will share my intuition and insight with you and above all encourage you to become the person you are yet to be.

I am glad that I found someone who supports all of my crazy ideas and challenges me to seek out new adventures.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Running Feet Part 2

I have a lot of time to blog lately since Madison is in Missouri, so I thought that I would give an update about my feet. Now...I know what you are thinking, you are thinking that you can't believe I am doing another post about my feet. I realize that my feet are not that interesting of a subject, but since I am sitting here cooking dinner and waiting on Rick to get home, I'm blogging about them anyway because they totally interest me right now.

So I went to the Podiatrist today to see why the hell my feet have been hurting so bad. I was a little uneasy about taking my shoes off and letting him actually look at my feet. I have a rather large bunion on my right foot. I know this because while we were watching the Tour de France last year, Rick told me that I had to move my foot because my bunion was blocking his view of Carlos Sastre (last years winner). I know that if I was blocking an entire bike rider, they must be rather large. Anyway, I was embarrassed about that large bunion and didn't want him to see it. I was quite pleased when he said that it wasn't the worse he had seen...that it actually looked pretty good! I preened for a minute over my rather small bunion and smiled very proudly at the nice doctor when he said that I probably wouldn't need surgery. I wasn't happy when he said that we had to take x-rays because he thought I might have a fracture.
"Well....how long will that take to heal?" I frantically questioned, thinking of the numerous weeks that I would have to spend without my beloved running.
He took a step back and said "Let's just take the x-ray to make sure of what it is before we discuss recovery plans."
"Well, before we go up there, can you take a look at this other foot?" I said as I started to take my shoe off. I'm sure he wasn't expecting a two for one deal.

Anyway, the conclusion came out to be plantar fasciaaa-something on my left foot and a bone bruise on my right foot. The plantar whatever can be corrected with orthonics. It is caused by the constant pounding of my foot over many miles on a hard surface. The bone bruise has been caused by my bunion (just in case you are curious to know). The more miles that I run (and I'm training for a marathon, so I'm starting to run lots of miles), the more stress that I'm placing on the bunion. It can take that stress up to a certain point, but after that, it starts to spread its stress (perhaps it needs to go into some sort of anger management) over the rest of my toes, hence the bone bruise. I can still run, thank god, but I just have to take precaution using orthonics. We are trying something for the next couple of weeks that we hope will work. If it doesn't, well, we will go from there and stay off my feet. But let's hope it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tara can't fathom not running for a few weeks!!!!!!!!! What would I do???

I had a ride on my schedule today, so I rode my bike with Rick this morning. He usually rides his bike to work at least a couple of times a week and I try and ride at least once with him. Tomorrow is an hour run, working on bringing my heart rate up into zones 3 and 4!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My New Found Loves

I have discovered a few new things that totally rock my world. Silk chocolate soy milk is the bomb. I am not a fan of chocolate milk, in fact I think it tastes like shit (not that I would know what that tastes like, but I can imagine). It’s too heavy and too, well…tastes too much like chocolate (I know….what kind of woman am I that I am not a big fan of chocolate). I LOVE this soy milk, I think it tastes like a Yoohoo, which if they were healthier for you, I would sit around and drink all day long. I like the vanilla soy too, but the chocolate is the best. They have it in lite, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a huge fan of peanut butter. I can totally satisfy my cravings with just a spoon and a jar. I am also a huge fan of almonds. Imagine my absolute delight when I discovered raw almond butter! It’s spreadable like peanut butter, but tastes like almonds. Yummy!

My list wouldn’t be complete without beer on it. I love beer and I really love this seasonal brew from the New Belgium Brewery (Ft Collins, Colorado). It’s called Mighty Arrow. To make it even better, it has a dog on the front of it….I love dogs.

Tonight’s workout is an hour run, mainly working on form and a few running drills. Rick rode his bike to work this morning, so he will be getting home a little later then normal too. What is that you say? Why…you are right…it IS a great excuse to go out to dinner! After our workouts tonight, we are going to go out to dinner to try a burger joint that someone recommended. It’s one of those old, whole in the wall places that supposedly have awesome burgers. We’ll see.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Running and Biking

I am tired, thank goodness it is rest day and I can just sit on my butt all day and not do any workouts. Saturday I did an easy trail run in zones 1 and 2. I found a nice soft, yet hilly, gravel trail not far from my house and headed over there for my run. My goal was to just take this run as slow as possible and let my heart rate rise and fall with the terrain. I have been easing very slowly back into my long runs, each week just adding a little more then the previous week, so I anticipated that I would try and work in a 7.5 to 8 mile run. This was a great little trail, but there was no shade and I unfortunately, due to time restraints, had to run in the hottest part of the day. I was sweaty and hot in no time and was feeling a little tired due to the noonday sun beaming down on me. I have been doing most of my runs either in the morning or in the late afternoon after the sun comes down, so I am definitely not used to running at that time of day. I had to play the old “just make it to that next rock and you’ll be ok” trick until I finally got used to the heat. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful, I finally settled into a nice groove and maintained a consistent pace on the uphills and let my heart rate recover on the downhills. I ended the run at 7.50 miles and went home and did a half hour recovery spin on my indoor trainer. I then stretched by doing a little yoga. My legs were tight from going up and down all of the hills, so the yoga felt great.

I had taken Madison to the airport that morning and the house seemed way too quiet. She was in a plane headed towards Kansas City to visit my family for the next couple of weeks, so Rick and I were childless for the first time in months. I felt a little guilty for being excited about this, but it is very nice to take time for yourself every now and then. It is very difficult at times to find a balance between family, careers, and our training schedules and it is oftentimes that our training is the thing that takes the hit. I believe that we should always find a little time for ourselves each day. I think everyone benefits from this situation. I benefit because I am doing what I love and not forgetting what it is that makes me happy and kids/spouses benefit because you are a happier person. It is a little easier for me to do now that Madison is older, but I wish that I had taken more time for myself when she was younger. When Rick and I first started to see each other, he often pointed out that I didn’t take enough time to just be me. If there is one thing that I have learned from him, it is that it is important to find time to be me rather then just being a mom.

Sunday I had a 3 hour bike ride on my schedule. Rick and I packed up the bikes and headed out towards a trail by the mountains to get in our endurance miles. It was a great day and I wore a sleeveless jersey and I was thrilled to be on a road bike. My legs weren’t too happy though. They were fine on the flat portions of the trail, but screamed at me on the climbs (and this is Colorado, so there were lots of climbs). My training schedule has been steadily increasing week after week and my legs weren’t quite sure what to think about all of this abuse. I think they were ready to file a restraining order and harassment charges against me. I finally calmed them down and they seemed to cooperate for the rest of the ride. It was a great ride and it was great to get out and spend time with Rick. I love to ride with him. We don't usually run together since I usually go farther then he does. We are getting ready to take our annual mountain bike ride vacation next week! I can't wait.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Running Feet

I've been so busy at work this week that I am so totally ready for this weekend. I have gotten in a few workouts this week. A 5 mile run on Tuesday, a 45 minute indoor trainer ride on Wednesday (due to thunderstorms), and a 5.50 mile run last night. Last night's run just felt awkward straight from the beginning. I'm not sure what the problem was, but it just didn't feel right. I'm sure we've all had those kinds of runs. It wasn't the weather; it was a near perfect 70 degrees, it may have been my form, sometimes when I try too hard to be efficient in my running, I totally throw my run off. I'm still not sure, but by the end of the run, I had finally found a nice groove. I started the run out with a nice easy warm up by running 10-11 minute mile pace and then worked on bringing my heart rate up into zones two and three. I was pleasantly surprised that I was averaging a 7 some minute mile in my zone three and it felt fairly comfortable. That's a step in the right direction.
I ended my run with an easy cooldown and then 15 mintues of yoga and a recovery drink.
Lately, I have noticed a problem with my feet that I have never experienced before. Now, before you switch to a blog that isn't about feet, let me just say...please hang in there, you may be able to help me figure out the problem. Let me begin by saying that I have had all kinds of issues with my feet. You name it; I've got it. Calluses, black toenails, corns, bunions, I've seen it all. The bunions so far have been my biggest pain. My bunions are apparently caused from a combination of genetics and from the 13 years of ballet that I took while growing up. Toe shoes rock. Whatever has caused them, they have been a major pain in the butt. One of these days, I will have surgery to correct them, but the 6-8 months worth of recovery just doesn't seem to fit into my training schedule. Anyway, over the last few weeks I have noticed a new problem. There is a painful knot in between the third and fourth toe on the ball of my right foot. What the heck is this? I already have bunions, couldn't we leave well enough alone? It doesn't really bother me too much when I run, but I can't go barefoot anymore, it's too painful. I hope it goes away naturally and I also hope that it doesn't affect my running. I know that you are all just hanging by a thread of suspense over my feet issues, so I will make sure to keep you posted.
Tomorrow is my long run day and then Sunday is a very long bike ride. I am also taking Madison to the airport tomorrow, she will be starting her annual "Tour de Family". She is very excited and mom needs the break from being "senior taxi driver" and slave.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Weekend Trail Run and a Loooong Climb.

Saturday was supposed to be an easy run day or 45 minutes of easy running in zones 1 and 2. Rick was in the mood for a trail run, so he suggested that we take the dog out to Lair of the Bear open space park and get a run in (he would run with the dog). Those of you who know me, know that I absolutely love trail running, so I jumped at the chance. I also knew that my nice easy run had just turned into a hard one, mainly due to all of the climbing that you have to do at the beginning.
It felt good to get out to the woods again, but I could definitely tell that my legs were not used to trail running anymore. They are most definitely stronger then they were when I first starting mountain trail running, but I still have a long way to go. The 2.50 mile climb was hard, especially since I had to try and keep my heart rate down in zones 1 and 2. I had to keep an 11 to 12 minute mile pace for my 15 minute warm up and then an 10-11 minute per mile pace to keep my heart rate in zone 2. When I finally reached the top, it was a great feeling to know that it was all downhill from there! It felt awesome to get out and build up some endurance in my legs and you couldn't beat the weather for this time of year. I can't believe that it's June and we are still having 70 degree weather days. I love it! I finished my run and ran down to the parking lot to find Rick and the dog playing in the stream (the dog, not Rick). He had done a 35 minute trail run all the way to the top of a very steep trail. His goal of the day was to not stop on the trail and he did it! This particular section of the trail is extremely steep; I opted out because I knew that my heart rate would be in zone 5c if I took it. I am glad that he seems to be taking such an interest in running. Maybe one of these days I'll have a marathon partner.

Sunday, I had a bike ride on my schedule. I was supposed to get in at least 2.15 to 2.50 hours on the bike. Rick and I decided to go out and bike Squaw pass. This is about an 18 mile climb to the top to Echo Lake. Once at the top, you can then continue on up Mt. Evans road to over 14,000 ft. We would not be doing Mt. Evans road. Squaw Pass is a very steady, but totally do-able ride, that won't break you if you are used to riding in the mountains. The first couple of times that I have done it, the ride itself seemed very daunting, but I am used to the climbing now and I love it. It hurts, but it is a good hurt. We took our time and averaged about 9 MPH on the way up. Not great time, but not bad either for an 18 mile climb. This was my first climb of the season. The ride down was fun, but cold! Colorado had storms brewing in the afternoon. There were 5 tornados that touched down and lots of hail. We later found out that it had started to snow at Echo Lake. I'm glad we made it down before that.

Tonight is ab work and stretching. Legs off day. My legs feel great though, even after all of that climbing.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Food is Fuel

Yesterday at lunch I was so hungry that I was past the point of no return. I’m sure we’ve all been there. We train a lot, burn a lot of calories, and constantly need to refuel. I usually get up by 5:30, eat breakfast by 7:30, then a snack, then a second mini breakfast, and then I wonder why the hell I am still so darn hungry at 11:00. Well, it was noon and I hadn’t had anything to eat since 9:00 that morning. I couldn’t think straight, I was starting to shake, and numbers were swirling on my spreadsheets. Not to mention that I was starting to get really bitchy. The weather was rainy and gross and I had unfortunately left my umbrella in the car, so I headed down to our downstairs cafeteria. I had spent a lot of time straightening my hair that morning and there was no need to go out in the rain and end up looking like a chia pet.
I was drooling over the fact that they had tuna salad, celery sticks, AND roma tomatoes on the salad bar, when I heard someone mention the cookie diet. My ears perked up. While I am not a big fan of the baked product, I have been known to shamelessly plow through some raw dough. What is this cookie diet, I wondered and I scooted nearer to the two conversing ladies. What I heard was enough to make my stomach turn. A fad diet. Have you heard of it? You eat these special cookies throughout the day and it is supposed to help control your hunger. I’m sure they are extremely healthy cookies too. I just shook my head and went back to the salad bar. What is wrong with people; don’t they realize that fad diets don’t work? Sure they may be a quick fix, but as soon as you slide off of them, BOOM the weight comes back quicker then my dog at an all you can eat buffet.
Now, I don’t even begin to claim to be the queen of eating healthy. I eat more then my fair share of what I deem to be “crap”, but for the most part, I eat clean and wholesome foods. I eat to fuel my body and I don’t think of food as either a friend or an enemy. I don’t eat when I’m bored or sad; food is NOT my best friend. I eat when I’m hungry. I don’t feel guilty when I eat half of that can of frosting that was meant for the cake (good thing that I bought that back up can); food is not my enemy. Food is fuel and nourishment and nothing else; so stop thinking about it in any other terms.
Most likely, when you start eating clean and wholesome foods, you don’t miss all of those processed, starchy, and surgery foods; they begin to taste too sweet and pretty disgusting. I hate the word diet, why can’t we just learn to eat healthy for life. I think that is the one thing that people who are on fad diets don’t realize or maybe just don’t think about. Learn to eat healthy and don’t set unrealistic expectations on yourself and you will probably see long-term results.
Now, if someone would please bring me a ladder; I would be glad to climb down off of my soapbox.

I am getting back into my long runs tonight; I am very excited. I would like to run outside today if the pollen count is not too high. My energy level is back to normal since all of my workouts have been inside. I hate to jeopardize that with running outside, but the thought of a long run on the drealmill is not very exciting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy National Running Day!

National Running Day June 3rd. Get out and move!!

"Everyone can run. That's the message of this day," said New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. "As an industry, we know first-hand how great running is. Millions of Americans have discovered that running is an easy way to feel better, look better and live better."

Madison has a choir concert tonight, so I got up early to get my workout in. I had a bike ride on my schedule today, so I will not actually be running on National Running Day. I might go run around the block just to say that I did. I'm not sure of any local events that are being held in Denver; although I'm sure there are somewhere. I did an hour on the indoor bike trainer at low effort and high cadence. Feels good and I'm going to go to work feeling nice and refreshed.

I got a 50 minute run in last night on the treadmill. I have been doing all of my workouts inside this week to try and help my allergies and I could tell a tremendous difference in my energy level last night. Last night's run was mostly in zone 1 or my easy pace, but I was supposed to do 10 x 30 seconds of speedwork and work on turning my feet over faster. So, for most of my run, I had the treadmill set somewhere between 5.8 and 6.2 for my easy pace. During the speework, I increased the speed to 8.5 and did gradual increases from there over my 10 x 30 seconds of speedwork. It is so much easier to do speedwork on the treadmill then it is on a track. I feel like I'm cheating.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Saturday morning we finally woke up to blue skies and big fluffy white clouds. Hello sunshine! For the past month, the work weeks have been in the seventies and sunny, while the weekends have been rainy, crappy, and down right annoying. I thought the rain was nice at first because we don’t see it too often, usually when the weatherman calls for rain, I ignore it. When we first moved out here, I missed good old fashioned rainstorms with thunder and lightening and the torrential downpour of rain. I soon became accustomed to the near perfect Colorado weather, where the sun shines over 300 days a year; I’ve become spoiled.
Yes, it was going to be a great day for a run, but first, I had to go sit in a chair at the salon for two hours and get my hair cut and colored and have any and every unwanted stray hair pulled out by the root bulb in a process that we call waxing. Yes, I know, it takes a lot of time and sounds painful, but rest assured, the finished product is much better then the before picture. The salon trip itself was pretty uneventful; I just sat in the chair and talked to my stylist while she piled different types of goop in my hair and smashed it in place with foil. Pretty soon I had a nice gladiator helmet of foil and my hair stuck out in a very fashionable Medusa like style. While I was there, the Birdman from the Denver Nuggets came in to get some hair gel for his signature hair style that he wears during the game. Everyone rushed over to get autographs; I of course missed him because I was engrossed in an article about what type of jeans to wear if you have a large butt. Damn. I would have liked to have gotten an autograph. Not more then 15 minutes after he left, his fiancĂ©e pops in sporting this gigantic rock on her finger. One of the girls mentions to her that the Birdman was just in and she makes the comment that all of the girls in the salon must have been drooling. Ummmm….not so much. He’s a great basketball player and fun to watch, but he’s really not much to look at. No offense to her of course.
I finally made it home with my nicely coiffed hair and changed into my running clothes. I had been planning on starting back into my long runs again since I haven’t done anything over 6 miles since my half marathon. However, I have been sick all week, so instead of putting more stress on my recovering body, my schedule was changed to a nice easy hour long run. I found a nice flat course and started out at an easy pace. I felt sluggish and devoid of energy and it was hard for me to believe that I had ran 13.1 miles less then a month ago. I couldn’t have run 13 miles that day if you had paid me to. What is going on, I kept asking myself? My legs felt great, but the rest of my body felt like lead and like every cell was gasping for oxygen. It was hot and I had sweat rolling down my face and I used the heat as an excuse for my poor performance (my newly coiffed hair was wrecked too). I finished the run and felt extremely disappointed in myself. I had so much wanted to get back into my long runs and start building my endurance back up for the marathon training. I felt like a failure, but I have learned a lot of lessons from my coach and one of them is to put failure behind us and move forward.
And that’s what I did, until the next day, when it happened again. Rick and I went out on an easy bike ride and I ended up gasping for air and turning back when I realized that I had left my inhaler in the car. I told him to go on and finish the ride without me; I would wait in the car. I turned back and realized that I was again achy, tired, and I had a sore throat. Then I made the allergy connection. It was right around this same time last year, about a week after the Memorial Day weekend, that I ended up in urgent care and diagnosed with exercise induced asthma. I remember feeling tired, achy, and extremely frustrated that I was so tired all of the time. I have many allergies, but none are seasonal, however the one thing that has been pollinating this week is pine and I have never been tested for pine allergies because they are extremely rare. Hmmmmm. If that’s the case, then I should hope to only have to deal with this crap for another week and then I should be back to my normal energy level again. I hope so because I am starting my long runs again this week. No excuses!
Tonight is core night! Don’t worry, I just have to do half an hour, not 45 minutes of core like the last time.