Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm going to dew point in weather's face if it doesn't lay off

Since my last post, Louisville has been your choice of:

  • Hot (like 90* and humid)

  • Storming (like rain and tornadoes)

  • Windy (like 15mph)

Suffice it to say it has been a tough couple weeks. Last Monday, I figured I'd get in an easy 4 miles when I left work ... except it started to hail. With the long weekend, my running group was nonexistent, so I decided to run Sunday with the Derby City kids for my long run. It was 92*. Not one of my best decisions, but I got the miles in nonetheless.

Today I headed over to E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park with the intention of doing some cruise intervals. It was a mere 80* when I arrived, but the 71* dew point and 66% humidity had me sweating like an OSU Athletic Director a half mile in. I bagged the workout, did an easy 6 -- and they didn't even feel easy. I guess it is time to start waking up early again.

I got some awesome New Balance gear last week. Favorite running outfit is the NBx Adapter Sleeveless top, super lightweight, great hand to the fabric, great fit, little pocket on the inside; along with the NBx Run Short. The short fits amazing, liner is Xstatic fabric, no-tie drawstring, zipper pocket in the back. My number two outfit is the IceFil Sleeveless tank, which utilizes IceFil (xylitol) to actually bring down the temperature of the fabric when you start sweating. I also love the lower neckline. This I pair with my go-to shorts, the NP Short, which I own in way too many colors. (Or not enough.)

By the way, all that gear is on sale right now on the New Balance website. Of course, if you live near a specialty running store, go there first.

Oh yeah, I ran a 5k over the weekend ... It was more of a tempo run. Where I got beat by a middle school girl who runs for Derby City. And we all went the wrong way. I'm running another one this Sunday (at 4 p.m.), and possibly one June 11 as well. Anxiously awaiting the return of what little speed I used to have.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Running Errands Part 2: Grocery Run

Thursday's run was sort of like being in the middle of a Sonic the Hedgehog game -- I found 52 cents while I was running! Of course, I saw a penny, stopped. Ran some more, found another penny, stopped. Found a quarter. Then another quarter. Sweet!

I planned my run to end at the Kroger just a few blocks from home so I could pick up the last ingredients for last night's quiche. Of course, you can't really run with a pie crust and half-and-half, so I just walked home. With my 52 cents.

Tuesday I did my first workout in ages, starting with some cruise interval 800s. So pretty much just 6x800 at tempo pace, 2 minute recovery. My, how the mighty have fallen. I hit pace (based of an estimate of 5k fitness) and never felt awful, but was definitely working. After, I couldn't decide if I felt good for running as planned -- or bad for how slow I've gotten.

Race calendar is full-up at the moment; there are a ton of good races coming up that I just can't miss. We will test out the racing into shape theory with races 5/28, 6/5 and 6/11. Then it's off to DCAC running camp for a week 6/26-7/2, then probably a Fourth of July race. (Bluegrass 10,000 or Crescent Hill 5k.)

Short run tonight, long run Saturday, short run and massage Monday. Details and weekly recap coming soon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Running Errands Part 1: The Library Run

Most people just "go out for a run," for exercise or training or just to clear their heads. You finish where you started, usually, with no purpose other than running. I suppose it is a side effect of our culture, where exercising and transportation are not typically one and the same.

But when you look at the cultures that dominate long distance running, those guys are running as transportation. They run to school. They run to work. They run wherever it is they need to go ... because for them it is the fastest way to get there.

Other than some minor inconveniences, though, there's no reason why more of us can't combine our running with some sort of errands. I know a few people who do. My friend and New Balance rep Pete said he runs to the post office and bank regularly, and ran to buy batteries for a new baby swing over the weekend.

After not having a car for a year, I definitely see running as a method of transportation more than I did when I had a car. Some days I would bus or bike to work, then run home in the evenings. Then I could do one of the same things to get to work the next day — which were my transportation options anyway. It is assuredly advantageous to have a workplace shower.

Running Times had an article about this years ago, where author Jim Gerweck talks about running to the pharmacy, the grocery, to drop off forgotten homework to his kids. He would run while his kids were at Tae Kwon Do practice instead of driving home, then back to pick them up again. He even ran while waiting for his number to be called at the DMV.

Today I was presented with an opportunity to combine multiple to-dos in one fell swoop. My list for the day included a 4 mile recovery run and a trip to the library ... which is 2 miles away.

Eurkeka! I thought — I'll run to the library. I hurried up and finished my book, all the while trying to decide how exactly I'd get a book there and back. I know I hate handheld water bottles, so carrying it didn't seem entirely feasible.

I changed into running clothes and tried stuffing the book — fortunately a smallish paperback — into various clothing elastic bands and ran back and forth through the condo. Side of shorts? No. Back of shorts? Definitely not, even though I've seen men carry various things tucked into waistbands. Sports bra back, like how I carry my shirt when I take it off mid-run? Also no.

Drats. I was perplexed. What I needed was a backpack or something with a big pocket. I didn't have a backpack, although some lightweight running ones exist, but I did have a lightweight vest with — a-ha! — a perfectly-sized back pocket. With the temperature only 53 degrees, I was a little warm on the run but not terribly so.

I jogged my easy 2 miles to the library, dropped the book on the counter, wiped my face with my shirt, checked out another book, stuffed it into the vest, and ran back.

Then patted myself on the back — I got my run in, got a new book and saved both gas and time. Leaving me with some free time to write this post.

TracePace is back in action after a relatively long hiatus. With six weeks of base-building before my next training season, I plan to post on Mondays and Thursdays of each week. Stay tuned for posts about my training, other people's training, news from the running (and running retail) world... And some Facebook-favorite food photos and recipes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Meals this week:

- Steak & parsnip fries
- Protein pasta casserole
- Curried red lentils & squash
- Black bean & avocado wraps

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Out of Commission

Well ... trace-pace will be on a running hiatus for a bit. Not that I've been blogging much, anyway. But that's because I've been running. And now I'm not supposed to run. So more time for blogging.

Finally got the lump on my shin looked at, after it had been there for something like six months. The stress fracture showed up on the x-ray, which I'm guessing is bad since they usually don't. The voicemail from my doctor said "absolutely no running" along with minimal weight-bearing. Pshaw.

The odd thing about this injury is that is has not hurt to run on it. I sometimes start out with a tightness in the muscles along the outside of my lower leg, the anterior tibialis et al., but nothing along the lines of a piercing stress-fracture pain I would expect. All my friends who have dealt with these have said it hurt too much to run. Mine hasn't. I knocked out 70 miles last week including 11 miles in racing flats.

My doctor suggested crutches, which are pretty much impossible at my job ... but who knows, I may end up in a boot. Cute.

Ortho Monday morning, we will see how that goes ...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Workouts are flexible

What a hellacious week. Kicked it off Sunday with a solid 15-miler, no gels, mid-70s and humid. Felt good, but was totally wiped out when it was over. Laid on my living room floor for a while when I got back.

No getting squirelly on Monday, stuck to the muddy, hilly trails in anticipation of Tuesday hill repeats. When we got to Maple for the repeats, it was nearly 80 degrees. I averaged three seconds slower than the week before, with my heart rate max the same, so not bad.

Thursday was my track workout, but coach didn't tell me what it was in advance. That was okay, because it meant I didn't sit around all day Tuesday dreading it. We ran to the track, and coach sent me off on 4x1k at cruise pace (6:15ish). He's trailing me by about 50 meters, and as I finish the first lap, he yells, "Okay, go ahead and open it up; we'll make it a Vo2 workout."

Not one of my favorite phrases. Vo2 max means hard. I yell back and ask if he's serious, he says yes, so I shift into the next gear before I'm out of the curve. Cruise through the lap, and as I'm going into what I think is the last 200 meters, coach yells that the workout is now 1200s.


I get through the lap, finishing the interval in 4:25 after coming through the first lap at 6:15 pace. That means I knocked out a 2:51-ish 800, which is flying for me. I'm not sure I've ever recorded an 800 at that speed. Even if I went through the first lap in 90 (hell if I remember), that's still a 2:55 half-mile. Zoom! That is really good giddy-up for this slow-twitch gal.

Unfortunately I needed to do three more 1200s, and was supposed to hit about 4:25 for them all, just under 6 pace. Eighth-grader Max Mudd (see Cades Cove race report) offered to pace me, which I declined because really that's just embarrassing.

Then I tanked the next interval, with a dismal 4:37. Hit pace on the first lap, then relaxed too much on the second -- I tried to get comfortable and maybe got a little tooooo comfortable.

So of course coach put Max on me for the last two. Now that I didn't need to pay attention to my pace -- 6 min/mi is as easy for Max as texting -- I got to check out my heart rate. Bad decision. Seeing 190s after the first lap is frightening. Apparently that's what I was supposed to be doing, and it doesn't appear to have killed me.

With Max goading me the whole way, we did the last two in 4:27 each, 5:56 pace. Any time I am running sub-6 pace I get nervous. (Hence the summer of 5k training.)

Then we blasted a couple of 400s for fun, I knocked off a couple 82s, then we ran home.

Of course, then Friday felt terrible -- I almost bagged the run a quarter mile in. I thought I was going to die. Coach insisted I would feel fine for the race Saturday, so I wore my compression tights, took an epsom salt bath and crossed my fingers.

If you've read the race report yet, you'll know the finger-crossing was futile. I think the heat and multiple hard sessions took their toll and wiped me out.

But hey, I did finish up the first week of the pushup challenge!

Race report: Run for the "L" of It 5k

This post is subtitled, "The Little Engine That Couldn't."

Summer has come to the Ohio Valley, which meant at race time Saturday it was in the mid-70s with humidity pushing 80%. Lovely.

The women's line-up for this race was stacked -- probably one of the most competitive races in the city. I knew that was coming, so I was mostly racing the clock since I knew some of these girls would be a minute ahead of me ... at least. If there were any other women closer to me, I'd race them, but those other girls ... Not even. In the end, U of L runner Emily Borsare would win in 17:10, followed by Amy Doolittle-Crider, Kim Coleman and Meghan Braffet, all right around 18 minutes. Yikes!

I went into this race hoping to run around 19 minutes like I did last year, but thinking 19:15 was more realistic considering how I felt during Thursday's workout. (I can only post about one thing at a time, so I will get the week in review up soon.) Apparently even that was a little too optimistic.

I hit the first mile marker in 6:06, even though Cassidy (my 405) pinged a few feet later at 6:15 pace. Sometimes I hate that damn thing, I think I'm going to start setting it up for races so that it works like an old school watch - no auto-lap, no pace. Just chrono and I will force-lap at the mile markers.

The course is a pretty cool configuration, sort of a backwards C-shape with a little loop at the top. So people watching at the start/finish line can also see you around halfway, and there's no sharp turnaround like in an out-and-back.

My coach was at the little loop, and I yelled to him that my jacked-up right leg was hurting. He told me to relax up top and keep going. I was hoping he was going to tell me to drop out. Drats. Okay, legs, keep going. Cassidy split 6:29 for the second mile, yikes. Couple more turns and then we are back at Eighth and Main, which means I just have to get to Fourth and Main, pop up a couple blocks, then it's over. It's so humid the sweat is beading up on my skin -- no evaporation at all. Gross.

I spend from about 1.5 miles to 2.5 miles running next to my friend Rob, a pal from Track Tuesday. I start putting some ground on him as we turn onto Main, catch a couple of other men, turn onto Fourth and blast the jets. This is always a bad idea because the Fourth Street part is longer than I'd like (about .3). Catch two more guys, commit to the I'm-going-to-hurl feeling. Because once you "chick" some poor dude, you can't let them pass you back. Just can't.

Cassidy is stupid and only got 3.05 for the race, which is an acceptable figure considering the width of the course, but means its calculation for pace over the .1 is no good. It figures something like 7:20 for that part, but I was definitely working harder than that coming up Fourth Street. Oh well.

Crossed the line in 19:30, good for fifth female and an AG win. Thank goodness my friend Meghan doesn't turn 25 till next month, so she won the AG below mine.

More races coming up, more race practice, less whining. That's the plan.

Oh, and kudos to my mom and friends Melanie, Debra and Jeff on this race, too! Mom improved over her 5k a couple of weeks ago, Jeff ran in the 18:20s after not running a 5k in forever, and Debra picked up an AG award!