Friday, June 27, 2008

Sweat and spiderwebs

ORN: Just over 7 in just over an hour, trails over at Sawyer. Nice recovery run.

Wednesdays and Fridays are tough because I only get about 12 hours between runs. We run on the preceding days at 7 p.m., finish around 8, then sleep and run again at 7 a.m. They get a little sloggy. But, today was good anyway; really humid but just ambled along.

Last night was an hour of trails in the rain; Wednesday another easy hour and Tuesday intervals. A good week all-in-all, after tomorrow's run I'll be at 60 for the week.

I've been dragging this week with a sinus infection -- my second since April. The doc is sending me to an allergist in a few weeks to try and pinpoint the problem. I assume it'll be something dumb like grass.

A complaint: the race at Hubers, the Barnyard Dash 10k, did the awards not the usual way. Typically, the overall gender winners are not eligible for age group awards. The Pacers and Racers folks, though, gave the overall gals age group and overall awards. Silliness. Add to that the fact I drove to New Albany for early packet pickup on Friday, only to find out they had decided not to have it but didn't post that anywhere. Then, when I arrived on Saturday, they were out of shirts -- even though the registration form guaranteed shirts to the first 300 registrants, of which I was one. I'm a little irked and not planning to do that race or any of their others, in the future.

This week has been pretty fun because many of the company reps are showing us shoes for 2009. I've seen a lot of cool things in the past two weeks or so, and I'm excited about some upcoming products. Plus, I think it feeds into my newsroom junkie habit of wanting to know things first. Now I've seen shoes most people won't see until January!

Also this week I got my new racing flats. My awesome sponsor Mizuno supplied me with two new pair of Wave Ronins, weighing in at just over 6 ounces. It's a great fitting shoe, so much that I may have to race again sooner than I thought.

That's it for now! Ten miles tomorrow and 20 on Sunday -- I live an exciting life!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Race report

First, I've figured out when you run 7 days a week it's hard to maintain a running blog. It would be really boring.

Saturday was race-day, and even though it didn't go off quite how I wanted, it was still okay. I suppose I should preface this race report with the following: Friday evening I had two margaritas, four beers and stayed out until midnight. Then we got lost on the way up to Huber's. So with the stage set ...

My original pace-setter, Chris, had backed out with a sore hamstring. Another friend, Doug, volunteered Friday evening to help me out if he could. While Doug is a 3:09 marathoner, he hasn't been keying for any particular race, and I'm not sure he was quite race-ready that morning.

So I take off, trying to settle into pace and not trip over anybody. I'm cruising through the first mile, and as we come down the first hill, I can hear the splits being called a hundred meters or so away. They were still in the 5 minutes, at which point I thought, "Oops," and pulled back. Hit the 1-mile in 6:07.

Then we went uphill and I slowed down hoping Doug would pull alongside me and help out. I started to settle into my pace but wasn't quite there. Crossed the 2-mile in 6:50, 30 seconds slow but okay given the first mile (which had been at least 13 seconds fast, if not 18).

The course has enough elevation change that I struggle with finding my pace, and slog through 3 in 7:02. I came through 5k in under 21, which was still alright by me. I don't really know what happened over the next few miles. The 4 was 6:52, then 7:10 at 5, which I believe included the hill from hell.

I did pull it back together with 6:34 for the last mile and 1:15 for the final .2. Unofficially I have 41:50.

I still picked up an age group award, which is a very lovely handcrafted mug still in a friend's possession. I then hustled back and started work ... it was a long day!

I did get to meet Miranda, finally, and wish I had time to hang out that morning and eat fruit!

Sunday was a good 16 miler, during which I averaged 8:09 pace. Today was 70 minutes on trails, fairly easy, so probably just over 8 miles. I followed that with an hour of pilates, an hour of yoga, and some upper-body weights. Whew!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I hate writing titles

ORN: 7 in 57:04, 8:09 pace. Great weather this morning, nice easy run. Did 6x800 on Tuesday and averaged 7:30 pace for 5 miles total, including the intervals on which I averaged 3 minutes (6 min/mi pace). Spot on for Saturday's race, where I hope to run about 6:20 pace.

So, I got tagged on this bad boy ... A running meme. Enjoy.

Rules: Each player answers the 5 questions on their own blog. At the end of your post you tag 5 other people and post their names. Go to their blogs and leave a comment on their blogs telling them they’ve been tagged and to look at your blog for details. When they’ve answered the questions on their own blog, they come back to yours to tell you.

How would you describe your running 10 years ago? I would have been 13 years old, so my running was nilch. A couple of years later I would run for soccer and track, but just for two or three years each.

What is your best and worst run/race experience? Best physically? The badass 19:25 5k I ran a couple of weeks ago. Best emotionally? Boston made me a total headcase; I crossed the finish line both depressed about how I had done and awed I felt awful and still PR'd on a much tougher course. Worst? Boston. That sucker hurt. I felt like I was ready and it still kicked my butt.

Why do you run? Shoot, it turns out I'm good at it. I don't feel I've ever been exceptional at any one particular thing, and I might have the potential to be my one thing. I love the feel of running, I love being with my friends while we're running, I love talking about running, reading about running, the whole shebang. I watch every meet I can on television and then look up more online. I'm a total junkie.

What is the best or worst piece of advice you’ve been given about running? My store manager, Chris, has always been super-supportive and made me believe I had potential even on days I feel merely mediocre. I couldn't single out any one particular thing, but he always makes me feel encouraged.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know. I eat candy like it's my business. And I hate hearing that my metabolism is going to let me down -- I don't run 60-mile weeks for nothing.

Alright ... Miranda is definitely up, and hopefully some of my other running pals will do this on Facebook. =D (Chris, Diane, Jason, Justin, Nikki, Rebekah)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

67 Miles Later ...

Yup, I ran 67 miles last week. That included a 20 miler on Sunday and a 14 miler yesterday. Ready to back off this week a bit for this 10k on Saturday.

So I looked at the official results from the 5k I just did a couple of weeks ago ... And apparently I stopped my watch at the wrong time. I actually finished in 19:25, even faster than I had thought! Hopefully that positive development will carry me through this 10k, about which I'm feeling a little nervous.

I've actually only done one 10k ever, and that was last spring. I suppose it'll go alright. I should come close to 40 minutes, and I'm going to try like heck to break it.

Four weeks until the 50k!

Monday, June 9, 2008


ORN: 6.5 in 58 minutes. Slow 'n' steady for a recovery day.

I hear the heat wave is going to break soon, which is excellent news. Even the 80s are starting to sound pleasant. I'm becoming a cold-weather runner; I think ideal conditions are in the 40s or 50s.

Also did an hour of pilates and an hour of yoga today. Cross-training is fun! I really like doing those two, which are great for my flexibility and core strength. I'm already noticing on long runs the things that used to ache -- hips and back -- don't anymore. Yay!

Okay, that's all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lots of long runs

ORN: Yesterday, 10.25 in 1:20. About 80 degrees. Good run, comfortable pace.

Today, 20 in 2:48. Again, over 80 even though we started at 7:30 a.m. First 10 were nice and easy, just cruising -- but the second 10 were work. I felt as good as one can feel for that long a run, just a little sore in the knees. Not that it was easy ... Miles 15-18 were a little draggy.

Lots of work on fueling right now, we have the ultra coming up and we each have to figure out the best we can how to stay hydrated right. Gosh it is hot.

Back to watching Pre Classic!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Saucony hydralite, Bislett Games

ORN: 6 miles on trails in 40:48, around 8:30 pace. Legs dead today. Only 12 hours recovery since last night's run, which I figured was the lesser of two evils: be tired while running this morning by myself for a short while, or be tired on tomorrow's 10 miler with people faster than I. At 7:30 this morning it was already around 90 degrees.

But I did get to run in a new Saucony tank, made of their Hydralite material. I highly recommend it. Super lightweight (3 oz/square yard), and with a specific grid pattern on the underside that minimizes the points of contact with your skin but promotes rapid moisture transfer. Even while my face and neck were dripping, my torso felt dry. Silky smooth and great seaming.

The ExxonMobil Bislett Games were today in Oslo, Norway. Dibaba set a new WR in the women's 5k with 14:11.15, breaking Defar's record by about five seconds. Defar is supposed to run at the Pre Classic Sunday, so we may see that record change again. Bianca Knight, the 19-year-old Mississippian sprinting phenom, won the 200m and placed second in the 100m. After just finishing her freshman year running for the University of Texas, Knight went pro just a month or two ago.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another day, another run

ORN: 8.84 in 1:08, 7:43 pace. Ran the first 7 at closer to 7:20 pace, but then did the remainder as an easy cool down. Mucho tired; 46 miles since Sunday. Need another hour or so tomorrow, then another 10 miles Saturday. My first week at 60 miles, ever, and in 90-degree weather. Genius.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A bit better

ORN: 7.4 in 1:01:41, about 8:20 pace per usual. DANG, it's hot.

Weather supposed to stay in the 90s the next four or five days, then hover in the high 80s for a while. It's miserable. We went at 6:45 this morning and it was already nearly 80. Yuck. I have that 10k on the 21st, so I'm hoping I acclimate soon or the temperatures fall. Even if the humidity would drop, that would help.

Short day for me at work today; spent three hours laying out by the pool and then went to a BBQ. Bed time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Worst work out ever

ORN: Track night, 6 miles SLOW. I don't even want to talk about it. It was so hot and humid my body couldn't cool itself. Probably should have bagged the whole thing. We were supposed to do 10x500 with 300 recoveries; I did the first five then did 5x400 with a slower recovery. Just couldn't do it.

So I'll just sleep and start over tomorrow. Early run planned to escape the heat.

In other news ... I hear the new Louisville Marathon/HM course for the fall is being finalized, so hopefully that will be up soon.

New Saucony Rides and Omnis are out now, FWIW. Hey, these things are important.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Back blogging

ORN: Trails, 7 miles, 56 min.

Alright, this is my approximately millionth do-over for staying on top of blogging. Really, I'm going to do it this time. At least for a while.

It's an interesting time in my training -- about six weeks post-Boston and six weeks pre-ultra. Overdistance is just picking back up, with 17 miles yesterday. Since the marathon, I had done one 12 mile trail run and three 10 mile runs, but nothing much over 7 other than that. Lazy if you consider the fact I only took one day off in May. But, I wanted to let my body adapt to running seven days a week, and wanted to work on boosting my weekly mileage back up that way before upping the long runs. From the end of April, my weekly mileage was 29, 35, 52, 56 and 43.

The cut-back week last week happened mostly because I was racing on Saturday, my first 5k in almost a year. When I started running in May 2006, all I did that year (from September on) were 5ks. In 2007, I did 5ks (along with a 10k, 10 miler and HM) through the first half of the year, then did another HM and a full marathon.

Race report

The "Run for the L of It" is a little 5k in Downtown Louisville, sponsored by U of L's Alumni Association, and one I did last year. Last June I set my 5k PR at 20:41 on a hilly course and hot day, and off running about 25 mpw. That was the last 5k I did, although I talked about shooting for a sub-20 attempt from then on.

So this race has been on my calendar for several months for that purpose. It's small, it's flat, and well-timed. Plus the T-shirts are cool.

My twice-weekly speed sessions had been going well, including 5x1k (with equal time rest) the week before. In fact, during that workout I averaged 6:15 pace.

So I was feeling optimistic on the warm, muggy race morning. I found a great parking spot, finished my coffee, got my number and starting warming up. I did not feel snappy. The legs, despite having a fairly easy week previous, were a little dull. I did about 10 minutes of warming up with some pickups thrown in, and had resigned myself to a mediocre race with 15 minutes before the start. I saw a couple of friends who had come to cheer, which made me feel better. One is a regular running companion, and a sub-20 5k'er herself, and she had faith the goal was within reach.

After a somewhat silly start, with no recognizable starting line, I looked around to analyze the competition. Not many females there who looked in race-shape, so I figured I could place fairly high. One lady who looked competitive I overheard talking about running 6:45 pace, about 20 seconds/mile slower than I was hoping to do.

I was in the front two rows of runners when the gun sounded, and resisted (thankfully) the urge to stay with the front runners. I settled into my groove fairly quickly, and remembered the course fairly well.

As we got about a half-mile in, a young Derby City Athletic Club runner asked me what pace we were on. I said I wasn't sure, but I hoped it was around 6:30 pace. I remembered roughly where the one mile marker was -- only because the aforementioned friend (of sub-20 fame) and I ran through it in about 6:05 last year, which was WAY too fast.

But I didn't see it. I looked for it around 5:30 into the race, and then checked my watch again around 8 minutes.

"Uh-oh," I thought to myself. "Either I'm going really slow and they've changed the course, or there aren't any mile markers."

Around then a girl passed me -- one I had not seen at the start, but the only one ahead of me. I kept her in sight for a while.

As I passed the sole water stop, my watch read roughly 10 minutes. I felt like I was on pace or close -- thank heavens for speedwork -- and I had faith if I could hang in there I'd be fine. By then it definitely felt like work. Mentally I crossed my fingers and hoped the water stop was near the halfway point and I pressed on. The wind was rough in places; I could feel myself being blown aside. By now the only female in front of me was out of sight, and I knew unless she fell off pace I wouldn't catch her. I was already working hard enough.

For some reason, the part of this race beyond the water stop seems to go forever. During the half-mile following the water stop, I entertained the notion of quitting (as I do in most races, although I've never done it). Shortly after, though, I rounded another corner and began running back against the walkers still heading the other way.

A few more blocks and I was back at Eighth and Main, which meant I had four blocks to go before the last turn, so roughly seven or eight blocks total. I don't think I looked at my watch for a while, I just concentrated on making the blocks pass while maintaining pace and form.

I had also abandoned the watch because it was clear there were not splits to help me pace. Mental finger-crossing still ensued.

I took the last corner and could see the finish just two or three blocks away. I began to kick with what I had left, which probably wasn't much. I had glanced at my watch and knew I had scant time, although I don't remember what it was. I just told myself to find that next gear and hammer home. If I didn't make it, at least I'd be close.

About a half-block away, I realized the goal was within reach, and my friends were standing there cheering. I hit the finish in 19:30, a personal best by 71 seconds.

I took home second female, but mostly I was happy with my time.

Next up is a 10k, sub-40 attempt, at Huber's later this month. The overdistance continues with a 10 and 20 miler this weekend and 12 and 20 the next. Our 32-mile trail race, the Rattlesnake 50k, is July 12.

Two opportunities for track on TV this weekend!

ESPN Classic on Friday, from 2:30-4:30 p.m: IAAF Golden League in Oslo, Norway. Great match-up in the women's 800m and Jen Rhines in the 5k.

NBC on Sunday, 4 p.m.: Nike Prefontaine Classic. HUGE meet. Lagat and Webb in the mile, along with seven other runners with PRs under four minutes. The men's 200m also looks good - Xavier Carter, Jeremy Wariner, Wallace Spearmon and Asafa Powell. And the women's 100m - Alyson Felix, Torri Edwards, Carmelita Jeter, Lauryn Williams and Muna Lee. (At Reebok last week, it was Lee (third), followed by Williams, Jeter, Felix and Edwards.)

Almost T&F trials time!