Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dora the Explorer wearing a backpack made of lead. exactly how I felt for this afternoon's run.

After a long workday Friday, and working again this morning, I was really itching to get some miles in. My last run was some speed work at a local track, and aside from an increased heart rate for awhile, I felt really good. Two days off from running later, I was excited to get outside for 10 miles. I had a goal. I wanted to try to do it in an hour 30.

Well, things didn't go as planned. First, I got lost trying to get to Bethpage. What the hell? I must have been daydreaming, or really tired, and took a wrong turn, ending up god knows where.  I remembered I had my cell phone and WAZE installed, so after 15 minutes of following directions, I finally got to where I needed to be. 

 I parked, and decided to explore the north trail this time. There were so many people out today, it was fun and frenetic at the same time. The scenery was different. I think there were a lot more hills, although it could have just seemed that way.

Now I know I said it was 'fun' - but I'd like to know who put that lead backpack on me and filled my calves with concrete?  

Thankyouverymuch. Not.

What a bitch of a time I had. Although my cadence was 90 most of the time, my hips did not want anything to do with running this afternoon. I silently pleaded, yelled, bribed, humored, cajoled - my body was not getting out of it's own way.

Could the error have been that I only had a cup of coffee and a buttered bagel before work, and then some toast with peanut butter before I left for the run? Possibly. By mile 2.5 my stomach was growling from hunger. Right before mile 3 I stopped for some water. I was ok after that. 
There were plenty of declinations where I was able to relax and pick up my pace a little bit, but then as soon as I got back on level ground, I could not find my lean. My calves felt so tight, especially right above the Achilles. My heart rate stayed easily below 170, because I could not accelerate. At all.

And WHAT is with the wind these days? Let it stay over the water so the sailboats can have a good time.

I know 10 miles in 90 minutes is within my reach right now. But today was not the day. I'm a little deflated, but I remember a lousy run I had just last week, and then I pulled a great run out of myself right after that. 

Could I have knocked myself for a loop because of those 2 speedy days back to back? I don't recall stretching afterwards. Nor did I cross train this week. What about running later in the afternoon, right after work? If the answer isn't obvious, I doubt that I should be spinning my wheels about it. Too many variables.
Run and Learn!

I don't think I'll do the north trail again, unless I'm looking to add miles after my southern run. There were too many traffic-busy roads to cross to stay on the trail. At least going south, most of the crossings are entries onto/off the highways. (To be fair, it was also a different time of the day that I was running, on the first glorious day since the start of Spring, and on a holiday weekend, as well) 

I did spend about 10 minutes stretching after this afternoon's run. My calves thanked me. I needed to do that for the 30 minute ride home. 

No gentleman stalker today. I think I miss him. Just a little.

Sorry to the people standing in line at Chipotle. I did not mean to infuse B.O. into the delightful burrito-aromatic atmosphere.

Some good news is that I don't have to work a Saturday again until the end of June. Switching with people and having to work 3 cold Saturdays in February will pay off handsomely now.

Sorry, no pictures, even though the sky was blue with plenty of autumn-like clouds and strong, warm winds. 60 degrees was the temp du jour. If I were Klingon, I'd have to agree:

It was the perfect day to go down in flames.

Runmeter Data

Magellan Data

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My First Attempt at Speed Work

Running around a track, 400m.
McMillan says I should be able to do it between 1:52-2:00.
OMG - how does he KNOW that?
I would start out like a shot (and I don't think I should be doing it that way) then tucker out half way round. By the 3rd or fourth time, with ample rest between each 400m run, (and crazy ass winds again, btw.. what's up with that? ) I was making it all the way around without stopping, just slowing down a bit at the end. 
And I was coming in between 1:52 and 1:56! (the greater than 2:00's I was having a problem telling Runmeter to stop at the end) Holy crap! I love speedwork! And I really love the fact that they know what I can do!

I think I'm definitely going to invest in their 1/2 marathon training plan.
Meanwhile, I can't wait to get out there again, without all the wind slowing me down around the last turn.

I did over 3 miles of speed and easy pace. This is just some of the stuff I tried to save. Otherwise, the rest was lost in the ether.

Magellan just kinda threw up all over my wrist. He had no idea what I was doing. It kept pausing while I was walking a few times, and - oh, the results were a mess.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

(The) Joy of Man's Desiring..

The uncertainty of recent weather conditions puts me a bit on edge.
I usually run 3-4 times a week. I prefer to run in the morning.  In comfortable temperatures. Without precipitation.  Now, I work anywhere from 7-10 in the morning until 5 pm, depending on the day of the week and my patient load. Thank goodness business is picking up. That means, hopefully, I remain employed. (Medicare cuts have made my position tenuous, at best) That also means less time in the morning to run.

This morning, my usual run day, temps soared into the high 30's. I needed to get out there TODAY. But, as it would be, I stayed in bed a little later this morning. I usually wake up to WQXR, a NYC classical station. Currently, they are honoring J.S. Bach. I found that this particular morning, I needed the extra time in bed to revel in some cantatas, minuets and such. 
My first appointment, however, was at 9:00am - about a 15 minute drive away. I was also supposed to be someplace at 11:00am to deliver a short presentation in a Senior Center to extol the virtues of proper posture. (Point: I REALLY had to shower today.) 
I think the expedient nature of all this is what provided an unusual yet surprisingly amazing run for me this morning. 
Yes, with the impending fear that I would not make my first appointment on time, nor wash my stinky self   -  I ran my ass off.

It was at my 5k race pace.

Once on the road, I decided that I needed to take advantage of this higher level of anxiety and 'run with it', so to speak. Usually, I dislike having to cram a run in because of time limitations. That's why I love my weekend runs so much. I can go long all afternoon if I want.
But today, not knowing what the weather for my next run day would be, I knew I had to get out there, despite my tight schedule - and my love of Bach.

Everything seemed to fall into place - my new breathing rhythm, my foot strike - and even though I took a short walk break, I found that I was able to maintain a decent pace while 'resting' in between the: "OMG; I have to hurry up and finish this 5k" pace.

I did not reach nirvana afterwards. Nope, no runners high for me today. But I did feel my heart rate was increased for most of the morning. It's only now, blogging this, that I sense things are back to normal.

I was surprised by the results, including some of the desirous sub 8:00 pace times that Runmeter claims I hit. But I hadn't thought too much about it until my DailyMile buddies and virtual blogger friends commented on how fast I had run. 

And it's an even greater experience that people you just (kinda) met through the internet and through this great sport of running, actually know how you run and when you do something wondrous. 
And that, in itself is a beautiful, joyful thing.

Silly, silly Magellan. I did not run nor swim there.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Recovery Run? I think not.

Good morning, Mini Cow Harbor.

The winds being 20 miles an hour less this morning, I decided to take a trial run of a race coming up in a few weeks. It's to help support the family of a young boy battling neuroblastoma. He is the nephew of my hairdresser. 

The run is tough. I planned it so that it would be a recovery run from the Wizard of Oz run I battled yesterday. I knew about the elevation before going in to it. 

I thought, "Ok, take it slow, forget about pace, just tackle it. Remember, it's a RECOVERY run".

Come ON.

My legs just really have a mind of their own. It felt like the time flew a lot faster than I expected it to. I thought as a recovery run, it would have taken me about 40 minutes with the hills and walking. I walked 2 times. I saw two other runners who waved and smiled. I practiced my breathing. My kick. My posture going up hill, my posture and arm swing going downhill. I listened to music for the first time since January 20th. (Did I mention that I have stopped listening to music on my runs?)

I followed the route posted by the organizers of the run. Runmeter had it right, but the Magellan wanted me to go another quarter mile.
Meh. I'm so disillusioned with the electronics.

I wore the new shoes again. Brooks Ravenna 4. They claim they are somewhere between a neutral and support shoe. I normally wear a neutral shoe - but I read advertising somewhere, I don't remember - that said this shoe would be more responsive for promoting a forefoot strike and preventing arch pain. (I've been having problems with my plantar fascia)  It also has an adjustable 'band' (re: gadget?) that adds additional support to the instep. When adjusting it, it feels like it helps prevent your foot from sloshing around laterally inside the shoe.

The first time I wore them, I had pain (soreness, actually) under the ball of my foot, bilaterally. Today, after adjusting them and attempting hill and dale, there is no soreness. I also wore my compression capris again, so the two new arsenals for my '13 training seem to have made friends with each other.

 I think these shoes are keepers. So now, I need to find another pair so I can rotate like everyone else does. Do I get a different type of shoe altogether, or another pair of Glycerins?
I guess I'll have to do some more research. I'm thinking I'd like to try a lighter shoe, now that I have a year of running behind me. 

Ok. I think that's all I want to say for now. I'm still considering this technical run, I haven't registered for it yet. I'll probably try it one more time before I decide.

I was supposed to run the Bethpage Restoration run, but it was switched to a day I am working. If I decide to do this Mini Cow Harbor, it will be in 2 weeks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cedar Creek 5 Mile Recap

I believe this is the first Cedar Creek 5 mile event for the RunNassau series.
Oh boy, was it WINDY!! According to, it seems it was blowing from WNW at about 24 mph. And I mean sustained winds! But it also felt like it was blowing from every direction. Just when I thought the wind would be to my back as I would make a turn on the course, it would whip around in a different direction and cause me to slow down or adjust my balance to stay running in a straight line. I actually used people to block the wind on some occasions, so I apologize to anyone reading this if I was following you too closely!

Of course I would have had a faster time if not for the wind. 
The course had a few hills, some different road surfaces, and great course guides that reminded us to smile, keep going and that we were all doing great!

I did not take any pictures, and I forgot to look for photographers again so I could smile and at least look like I was enjoying myself. (which I really do, especially at the end!)

There were some trailers set up that I don't believe were race related. They had large generators running adjacent to part of the course. It was unpleasant having to breathe that in going past. I'm sure it would have been worse had the wind not been blowing so hard.

I decided to run in my new CW-X compression capris. I had inquired about compression capris in the GLIRC Facebook Group, and this was one of the suggestions. I also purchased an Under Armour capri, but  I'm not crazy about the way it was made. I'll probably send it back.  The first time I ran in the CW-X, I was having some adductor/groin pain on my left side. But, I was also running in new shoes. One thing I've learned in my time building and trouble shooting computers in my old life - NEVER change more than one variable at a time. I know this. But more often than not I'm so in a rush to experience things, that I don't heed that advice like I should.

I decided it would be better to run in the capris instead of the new shoes for this race. Well, I absolutely love them. Nothing jiggles, there is no vibration, I had no pain or fatigue in my legs. The variation in the way these capris are made is similar to the way one would kinesio tape an athlete to prevent injury or to support the knee or hip. Apparently they have different types of products for different types of support.

I'll next have to try again running in the new shoes I bought, and see if I get that groin pain and soreness under the balls of my feet again. I'll comment on them at that time.

Cedar Creek 5 Mile
Time : 43:47
Pace : 8:45
4th out of 23 in my age group
92/273 overall

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

And, I'm back..

I usually don't run 2 days in a row, but yesterday's run was a bit pathetic, and the weather shaped up rather nicely today. Getting off work at 4:00 was a boon, so I took advantage of it.
I also received  2 new things in the mail today - a pair of CW-X compression capris, ($$$!) and a new pair of shoes that I'm not too sure about yet. The balls of my feet are not very happy. But I'll run in them a bit longer before I give my opinion on either one.

It was very windy, but the wind was warmer than yesterday, and so was the ambient temperature. I did double up on my tech shirts. I also waited for my Magellan to get a signal.

I practiced my breathing and my forward ankle form. I practiced using my hamstring and gluts a little more today. I SO much wanted to overcome that unhappy running feeling yesterday, that I mentally put myself in my place and wagged a virtual finger every time I wanted to cut the run short. I was thinking 10 miles, but because I had on two pieces of new equipment (compression capris..and I mean COMPRESSION - and the new shoes) which I felt was causing some discomfort, I thought I'd just do a 10k. It was a good trade. This had me running longer than my 5 mile race on Saturday, yet not too long to cause some possible trauma before the race. Now I have 2 recovery days.  I also have a training time of 45:41 at 5 miles that I'd like to beat at Saturday's race. The weather tomorrow will be rainy, and who the hell knows about Friday yet. I usually don't run the day before a race anyway.

I'm happy to report that I feel better about my run today, despite the way the balls of my feet feel.  I was dogging it yesterday. I felt like I did nothing to better my fitness level with that run. I know it's better than NOT running, but I suppose there must have been other things I was thinking about that helped propel me toward that state of mind. Anyway, hopefully, I'm back!

Plus, who doesn't like getting gifts from USPS, Fed Ex or UPS when they get home from work?!

Magellan Data

Runmeter Data

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'd rather run in the morning.

I AM glad I got out to run today after work, but I have to keep thinking that even though I felt lousy doing it, the 2.7 miles is worth something. 
I was so thrilled the sun was shining when I got out of work at 5:00,  I just threw on one layer  over my running bra and headed out. No gloves. I didn't run in any sun until about 1/2 mile in. Gosh, it was cold. 40 degrees and windy. Cold. By mile 2 my hands warmed up, but I was dragging ass. My face felt frozen, and I could see vapor as I exhaled! I thought that was only when temps were below freezing? 
I did not wait for Magellan to catch a satellite, so I'm not including its erroneous data today.

'Bleh' is all I have to say. The weather looks to be cold and windy during the time I'm available to run before the 5 Miler at Cedar Creek Park this Saturday, so I don't know if I'll get any more miles in this week. And I'm not keen about getting on the treadmill. I think I'd rather lift weights instead.

Runmeter Data

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Will it go 'round in circles?"

Well, yes, and.. no.  I'm still chuckling to myself at my naivety. And I found myself singing that song in my head during the run.

I did my very first trail run today at Stillwell Woods. I was there a few months ago to give it a try, but there had been something going on at the school where I was to pick up the trail. The traffic was horrific, and there was no where to park. I left without stepping foot anywhere near it. 
When I woke up this morning, I felt like I needed to do something different, even though 15 miles at Bethpage was the goal I fantasized about during work on Friday.

My virtual blogger friend, The Emerging Runner, makes mention in his blog of his runs at Stillwell. I tried to duplicate his last route on MapMyRun, but I knew there was a very low probability that I would be able to follow it exactly, having never been there before.  Lol.. there I go again.. how funny it was at the time, it's even funnier now..

His route...
                                    and mine..good lord. ha!

On the way there, there were 4 women and one man (and I would approximate them as septuagenarians) - making their way down Cold Spring Road.   I pictured myself there in 20 years. It made me smile.

I wanted to run at least 2 hours. I had no idea how far I could go on trails. I've never run them before. I packed 2 flasks on my belt, one with just water, the other with some Vanilla GU mixed with water.

There were plenty of parking spots. I parked close to the entrance. It was 29 degrees - so I bundled up. Only my fingertips were cold. I knew they would warm up by mile 2.

Arrows. Signs. Trees swiped with white paint. Mud. Bikers with really WIDE tires. Protruding roots. Sand with pebbles (turns out to be my favorite surface to run on) Flattened growth like crop circles. An old, rusted car. A dilapidated trailer.  Rocks perched in saplings to serve as trail markers. Black, blue, and green trail signs. (just like skiing) But there were no "You are HERE signs". Lol.  I took paths that I knew were not part of the route that I wanted to do. But as I scanned the terrain in the distance on each new path I came across,  I could not help myself.

I found inclines that resembled actual staircases. I flew down hills that  had my toes jammed into the front of my shoes and the ground sliding out from underneath me. My pace varied from walking and taking pictures to 'flying' almost vertically into what seemed like the center of the earth.

"What the hell am I doing here? Am I training or goofing around?"

I doubt I'd be able to move as I did if I were running with someone. I was free to choose where I wanted to go and then change my mind again in a split second. To turn back if I chose, then decide I'd like to take the risk. I never had a fear I'd get lost or seriously injured. I had my cell phone with gps. I had plenty of water. I saw it as an adventure.
..which way do we go, George?..

I recently watched something on YouTube about training by running through wooded trails, through streams, rivers, up and over cliffs and swinging through trees. Serious Play

I thought at the time that it required a lot of core stability, fast twitch muscle activation and reflexive righting reaction. I was right. How primal. I understand now.

There were 12 mph winds forcing the very dry snow to blow off the trees. It seemed like it was snowing..

I definitely need different shoes for this activity. I suffered the last 2 miles with plantar fascia pain under my right foot. With soft knees and supple ankles, I felt like I did a good job protecting my joints as I traversed the course, but I felt the bottom of my feet flexing and straining as when I was child running on the beaches and through the swamps of Bayville where I grew up. I'm not a child anymore, and I need additional support, most assuredly. 

 eww. Muddy shoes.

There is so much to say, but as I'm sitting here 5 hours later reflecting on my outing, I can tell you I have no soreness, no stiffness. (That may change 24 hours from now, however! ;)) I feel stronger. I feel limber. Despite the fact that I did not run into any wildlife as I was hoping, I felt like I was the wildlife. That I belonged. I am part of the environment I just ran. 

no car exhaust

I traversed 6 miles in an hour and 15 minutes. This included walking and picture taking and stopping to see where I was on google maps, taking video - I believe that this experience, (even thought it did not go as I thought it should have) if done on a more frequent basis, will improve my prowess as a runner.  How can it not?


I'm going to apologize for my emotional account of this outing. But good grief, it was a lot of fun, and dare I say, I felt - albeit briefly, liberated from the inevitability of the ravages of time. I felt capable and invincible. I felt young.

Runmeter Data

Magellan Data

Saturday, March 16, 2013 run, or not to run..

I've been feeling just a small tad under the weather.. I had lost some precious sleep over the course of a few nights, and the wide swings of weather changes have chilled me to the bone. I didn't get out of bed until 6:45 this morning - I felt like I had slept the morning away!

Still, I couldn't get warm despite putting an extra couple of layers on, including my smart wool socks in addition to my slippers. I had an appointment at 2:00 this afternoon which I knew would take a few hours, and my sister was running a 7k at 10:00ET that I knew I wanted to follow and cheer her on via Runmeter. So, does that leave any time for me to run? Yes, of course - I'd just have to save my long run for Sunday. I could do at least 30 minutes sometime between after my sister blazed across the the Minnesotan finish line, and my appointment at 2:00. But I really didn't feel like running.. I'm sooo cold..

The weather for my long run tomorrow was looking kinda iffy, so I kept reasoning that if I didn't do SOMETHING today, I would be relegated to the treadmill tomorrow, and that was simply unacceptable. I partially started running-gear-dressing while my sister was making her way toward the finish of the GetLucky7k.  My LaCrosse digital readout said it was 43 degrees, but when I stepped out side, it felt 10 degrees colder. Boy, my head was really playing games with me. I knew that all I had to do, however, was get my gadgets, cap and gloves on, and there was no turning back.


As soon as I start off down the road, I was happy. I wish I could bottle the feeling, so I need not argue with myself anymore about getting out the door. I could just pop the top with the bottle opener I recently affixed to my kitchen wall, take a sip, and not ever question the run.

The run itself was uneventful - only to say that I MADE SURE that the Magellan acquired a GPS signal before I hit the 'activity' button, and it looks like things are right again with my world of gadgets. It must have been human error all along.

And I'm glad I didn't wait to run that short, 27 minute run, because if the weather keeps up like it's been doing for the last 3 hours, I may never get to my long slow run tomorrow.

                                       snow and rain..

Runmeter Data

Magellan Data

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A not-so-easy, breezy run.

It was too cold and windy for me this morning to go out on my usual run, and the treadmill was not appealing at all. I did some core work, and then headed out for some home care visits.
By 3:00 it was looking simply gorgeous, even though the wind was still whipping around. I thought it might be warm enough, in spite of the wind, to just get out for a little 'easy' run. 

It was loverly. Really. As long as I wasn't running into the wind. In the shade. Otherwise, I was dressed appropriately, and it was enjoyable.
I thought I might do some negatives, but I started out too fast again. At the mile and a half mark, I slowed down, and continued to work on my breathing. (that rhythmic breathing is working out just fine, and I think it's keeping my heart rate lower, too)

Because I started out too fast, and the winds were really making it more difficult, I decided to stop at 3 miles instead of finishing the 4 mile negative run I had programmed in Runmeter. Plus, the Magellan was giving me a hard time again at the start of the run, and if you want to see something amusing, you can take a look at the results. 
So wacky. It had me starting at 6:07 pm and finishing at 5:49 pm, on the same day. I'm sure it has something to do with not fixing on a satellite correctly. If it doesn't start working again soon, I'll have to give tech support a call. Runmeter was the champ again today.

Magellan Data

Runmeter Data

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Attempt at Tempo Intervals

It's going to rain all day on my scheduled run day tomorrow. So, considering the overcast, warm day today and the fact that I got out of work at 3:00 - I decided to run. I thought I'd run around the neighborhood, and try to run a tempo interval run that the McMillan website described for me to prepare for my first half-marathon race in October. I know it's a long way off, but I was curious to see if I could in fact run at a specific pace for a certain distance. Ummm.. almost.

The neat thing is that; knowing I only had 1.86 miles to run at a 9:02 pace was comforting. That is, I know that it begins, and it eventually ends. Then, I'm to 'jog' for a half mile.  This interval was done 3 times. I told Runmeter to please announce when the intervals start, and to pretty please tell me if I'm staying on pace.


I was all over the place. I started out at a slow warm up for 1/4 mile, and then picked up the pace at the start of the interval. Every time my pace was announced, I was going faster than I was supposed to. So, I slowed down, and by the time it was announced again, I was going too slow. I tried to 'feel' the speed/pace when I thought I had it, only to be told I was going 10-15 seconds too fast AGAIN. Is this really a doable thing? I mean, I've only been running almost a year now. Is there something I'm missing? This cannot be an exact science. Or, if it is, I suck at it. But, wait - aren't there REAL pacers in a race that are able to stay at a certain pace? How do they DO that? I remember my sister Theresa in her first half. She was in the 1:40 pacer group. And you know what? She came in at 1:41. Dang.

Regardless of the sucky nature of this whole escapade, I was able to improve my breathing technique! I would say that I've got it now. I'm no longer counting, but breathing by rhythm of my pace. And, I did zen-out for about a .25 mile every mile or so. That's a relief. I believe I was able to tolerate the distance at the pace I was TRYING to keep better than if I had been breathing one step in, one step out, or however I was doing it previously.

So, in another month, I'm to run tempo intervals again, at my 9:02 race pace, (which brings me just under a 2 hour time for the half) 3 x 3mi with a 1000m jog in between. I'm supposed to continue with my usual LSR's and steady state runs and speed work (which I need to also learn how to do correctly without tearing up both my quads again)

Eventually, I'm sure I will get all this training behind me, do it because I can just so I can say I did, and then just run because I want to. It looks pretty scary when I glance at the last tempo interval I'm to do, 3 weeks before my half, where McMillan is saying I'm going to be able to run 8 miles at a 9:02 pace. But, I remember how similar I felt when the C25k program said I would run 3 miles in 30 minutes without walking. It's all relative, isn't it?

I recently read somewhere that regardless at what age you begin to run, and if you run faithfully, you will continually improve for up to 10 years, barring any serious health issues. If that in fact is true for the average person, it is definitely something to look forward to.

The discrepancies are huge as far as paces go between gadgets. The running times are the same, but distances and paces are off. I did a factory reset of the Magellan after it pissed me off with a ridiculous 9:47 average pace.  It's been too weird lately. 

Runmeter Data

Oh, Magellan, you wet blanket, you.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nickerson 4 Miler Recap

Drama, drama! 
I got very little sleep last night, but that's ok! I did better than I thought I would today at the Nickerson Beach 4 Miler. It was 29 degrees when I left the house in fog, but 42 degrees with a stiff east wind by the time the gun went off. I started both gadgets about 10 seconds or so after the gun, I was waiting to step over a mat at the start line which I must have missed, or it wasn't there. I never remember what the correct method of timing myself against the race clock is.

Anyway, brr. It was cold, we started with a headwind, and finished with one. I had missed the start of a confrontation between a woman driving an SUV and a cop, it looked like she was trying to cut the line of runners. Before I even knew there was a problem, a guy behind me was saying, 'oh my god'.. 'oh shit'.. 'really?'. He had headphones on, so I just thought he was on the phone. It wasn't until I got closer (he was 2 times my height) that I realized and HEARD what was happening. She was all up in that cop's face. Oh yes, and screaming obscenities as well. We had to squeeze a bit between her pulled over vehicle, but I could not wait to get out of there fast enough. Very uncomfortable to hear all that.
Then, on the way back, a cop was standing next to a woman who said, "I just can't believe that I fell!".. she was wiping her nose, almost as if she had fallen on it, but she seemed coherent and ok. As I passed her I saw the emergency vehicle headed toward her. I can understand how she might have fallen. There was a lot of sand on the roads, especially in the residential area we ran. I did a lot of hopping back and forth - there were some puddles from melting snow, also.

I tried my new breathing technique, and I would say I was successful about 30% of the time.   I seemed to have spent quite a lot of time running by myself this race. I felt there was a pack of people in front of me, and of course, whatever was left behind me. I was unaware of keeping pace with anyone, or having anyone tailing close to me. It struck me as strange, I don't know why. This race seemed to go very fast, I guess because I was concentrating so hard on my breathing. I had to walk about 30 seconds again as we got back onto beach property, (against that headwind) and I have to say the last stretch right before the turn to finish was a killer for me. It took us closest to the water, and into the headwind again! 

I hope I can start to train with tempo and tempo intervals. I think that's what I'm going to need to keep me running well for the 5 miler I have coming up next. I was feeling sick to my stomach at about 3.75 - I think I had too much to eat before I went out. I had added banana to my peanut butter sandwich. Yes, sandwich. I doubled the amount this morning. Don't they say never to try anything different before a race? Barf.

I also see that I did not keep up with my 180 cadence. That was probably because I was counting so much to get my breathing right with my foot fall. Ugh. Had I kept it at 180, (which I usually do) I might have taken another walk break, but I could have come in faster. Run and learn.

Now, for some pretty pictures. 

We did not run here..

Looking back at the finish line

On the car ride home

35:12 time
8:48 pace
6/23 age group
104 /292 overall

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Counting breaths, Zen, and warm, bright weather


Even though I have that 4 mile race tomorrow, I couldn't help but get outside for a run today. I was cleaning the house all morning, watching the temperature rise with each passing hour. The sky is so blue, and it's so bright outside because of the reflection off all the snow.
 Can't you just feel it getting warmer?

I ate some peanut butter on 7 grain sprouted bread (flourless), waited 45 minutes, tinkered with my Magellan, set paces with Runmeter and decided to run around the neighborhood. I wanted to practice a new breathing technique I read about in Runner's World last night. 3 breaths in and 2 out, one with each foot fall. The premise is that the diaphragm helps stabilize the core. 3 breaths in provides more O2, while causing the diaphragm to contract (stabilize), and the odd number grouping ensures that you exhale on opposite foot falls each time.(less stability) This limits potential injury, while at the same time getting you into a zen-like state. I've been there a couple of times (zen-land) during runs, but I've never been able to do it deliberately.

I tried it, and it took me over 2 miles to finally get it right, although I did not zen-out.  I tried all types of mantras - the one that finally worked was one of the ways the article described. "in-2-3,out-2" finally got me on the right track. Although the author goes on to say that it will be automatic after a while, I guess he means over the course of many, many runs. I really had to concentrate very hard, thus foregoing Zen.  But, I found that I was not as tired as I thought I should have been running the distance I did at the pace I ran it. 
(ummm, what? Can you restructure that last sentence, please?) 

I could have continued on comfortably, but I knew I had that race tomorrow, and figured I should cut it short.

Magellan ended up doing funky things again, somehow I selected multisport and running at the same time, and came home with garbage.

Runmeter Data

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sore and slumpy. (is that a word?)

I've been nursing some kind of foot pain since doing 'sneaky lunges' from P90X legs and back. The ball of my right foot has been very sore,  so much so that I went to CVS and picked up a cushion. It's feeling a little bit better, and so are my quads, gluts and hamstrings. I haven't run since Tuesday, and Sunday I'm running another 4 mile race in Long Beach. I have a feeling that this will be a throw away. I've been eating so poorly and feeling so sore all over, that I will be happy just to come up with the motivation to get down there. It's supposed to be near 50 degrees on Sunday, so I'm hoping the warmer weather and blue skies beckon me and lift my spirits enough to perhaps stay close to an 8:46 pace. But I'm not counting on it, really. 

I subscribed to a McMillan Pro membership from their website. I'm hoping that through it's instruction, it will get me running my first half  in under 2 hours. It's very informative, with videos, articles, and training specifically timed for my desired half marathon time, based on my previous race results. I found a bug on one of their pages, and they are very kind and attentive - apologized and fixed it the same day I emailed them. So far, a good experience! Now, I just have to do my part and follow directions. I can pay for an even more personalized plan, taking into account when I'm available to run, what my strengths and weaknesses as a runner are, all my race times, etc.
I'm still considering it. It depends on if my financial situation changes 3 months before my half. I think it's going to be in October, the Diva at Eisenhower.

I'll see ya at the race recap.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Today's Negatives

I'm so tired. I'll make this brief.
I ran 4 miles this morning. I planned for negatives, set Runmeter to coach me, and I did negatives. (yay) 
When I got home after work,  I did P90X legs and back. Ow.
Then I made a bad post-workout snack choice. Blue corn chips and  Cedar's tzatziki. Hey. That's what I do, especially on a dark, cold winter night. 
I always eat better in the warmer weather.
Over and out.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bethpage 13 round 2, and the gentleman stalker.

I did another 13 miles at Bethpage State Park today, running the same route I did back on January 20th of this year. I started out and sustained too fast a pace in the beginning this time for such a long run. I was in much better control with less fatigue and pain the first time I ran it.

As usual, which gadget to believe?

Jan 20          Time    Pace     Distance  
Runmeter    2:14   10:09   13.26
Magellan     2:13     9:24   13.87

March 2
Runmeter    2:08    9:45    13.14
Magellan     2:08    9:58    12:86

So, as I'm happier with my time, I'm unhappy with the fact that I can't get more congruent result with my gadgets, and that I really started to struggle at about mile 9.5. I felt myself sinking into my hips, with pain laterally at my left knee. That plantar pain returned also, but I found that if I splayed my toes before I struck the ground, it felt better. My TFL's on both hips were screaming at me. I WAS ACTUALLY GRIMACING at certain points. My ears were singing to me at about 4000 Hz (the doctor told me I'm loosing hearing in that range, and that's why I've got tinnitus) A headwind had developed, and although the sky became blue, spotted with autumn-like clouds, I started to feel chilled. I tell you, it was brutal.

But I was able to slow down and not have to walk up that hill at the end. I shortened my stride, kept the 180 cadence, pumped my arms in front of me to keep my weight forward, (LOVE ChiRunning) and before I knew it, I had made it!

I had to cut short my stretching at the car, because I was really getting cold. I was sweating, and the wind was just sucking the heat out of me. Then, just like my first run, I heard the same question asked of me from a guy maybe in his late 60's, early 70's. He rode up on a bike, circling around the back of the mini cooper, just like last time.
"So, how far did you go?"
"Wow! That's great! What are you training for?"
"A half"
"But you just ran a half!"
"Hey. Aren't you the guy who said the exact same thing to me the last time I was here?"
By that time, a few women on bikes rode up behind him.
"Usually that line works. I guess I'll have to find another one."
The woman directly behind him shook her head at him, smiled at me, and then they were off.

Magellan Data

Runmeter Data