Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chapter 2 page 422 - TR 159 Five, Friends, and Fun

Tonight, thanks to no "official" half marathon class, it allowed "C" and I to do our 5 mile run elsewhere - so, we opted to join up with our bestie bloggy friend "K" and her dog "D" for a 5 mile loop around portion of the route for our September half. 

We talked and laughed and had a great time.  I run MUCH slower than "K" and slower than "C", but both were cordial in allowing me to sort of set the pace which was faster than my "normal" pace, but it was a nice and manageable challenge.  They were gracious enough to let me walk through a few intervals (thanks girls!).  "C" called me the "beeper keeper" and said I could do whatever I liked!  Do you know what I LOVED most about this run?  I loved that despite the 3 of us having very different paces, we were all able to set aside our personal "norms" and just have a fun run together.  We talked and laughed so much that it really didn't feel like 5 miles - it just felt like girlfriends catching up!  So much fun!!!! (thanks "K" for enduring the afternoon sun/heat with us - know it's not your fav!)

The weather was super hot which made it feel impossible when some of our running intervals were in the 11:30 - 12:45 m/m pace (you know if I had my way every interval would be 14:00 m/m - ha!).  It was great to be pushed to go a bit faster, but to be so with friends who get me . . .Nice!  I love running WITH friends!!!!!  We all know I'm not a solo runner!! 

Got some rest days coming up (thank you cut back week!!!).  Will be helping set up some of the race "stuff" on Friday night and Saturday morning and then will be hoping to PR in my 10 mile race Saturday (fingers crossed).  I will be joined by April & her training partner "T" (April's blog is HERE), and my friend from work SD (it's her first 10K - good luck SD wishing you well!), and one of our classmates from our half marathon class who has become a fast friend and REALLY fun chica to run with, Jenn (Jenn's blog is HERE).  There will be LOTS of other awesome people in the race and I can't wait to see them all.  It's a fine group of people who come down for this race!!!

What's your preference:  Solo?  One buddy?  Group?  Talking? Silent?  Music?  Audio books?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chapter 2 page 421 - heel update . . . victory

I have hesitated to write this post as I was afraid to jinx the progress I've achieved.  In case you don't remember, I have had Plantar Fasciitis for 11 years.  It was debilitating and made my life really challenging.  Back in February I finally decided that I couldn't take the pain any more and was desperate to try anything.  I saw a physical therapist and underwent 8 weeks of heel and calf scraping.  The pain was indescribable - so here area  few photos that tell the story better than I can  . . .

After 8 weeks of treatment, I became pain free . . . temporarily (sigh!).  I was able to run my May half without pain and that was fantastic, but within 2 weeks, the pain returned.  Back to physical therapy I went for more scraping.  My second session of PT was for 4 weeks and involved only  . . . scraping (starting to think PT's are masochists).  Here is a photo from my 2nd go go-around . . .
Were you expecting a photo of scraping?  This was the stress ball (actually it was a star) that I was squeezing during the scraping and it hurt so unbelievably much that I accidentally ripped it in half - didn't know my own strength I guess!
So after 12 weeks of physical therapy, I was significantly better, but not 100% pain free.  I discussed with the therapist some options to simulate scraping at home (I couldn't really scrape it by myself because it's my right foot meaning I would have to use my left hand and it was just an awkward angle to apply enough pressure) - I discussed using a golf ball (WOW - that HURTS!), but finally decided to try using The Stick to see if that would work.
To my surprise, it worked.  I rolled my foot at the precise place it hurt as aggressively as I could and the PF pain continued to improve over time.  I initially started out rolling it daily and will never forget the day I rolled it and it didn't hurt - what?!?!?  Yay!  When my foot would begin hurting I would roll it - it was every day at first, then every other day, and is now only about 2 days a week. 

So where am I today?  My PF still hurts especially if I stand for a long time or after I run, but the pain doesn't last very long and can definitely be knocked down by giving it a few rolls with The Stick.  I say that my PF is under control and is being managed.  It's awesome to be at this stage.  I seriously hope it goes away for good at some point, but if this all the better I get - I can live with this!!!

Ever had PF?
What was the one thing that made it better?
(my first round of treatment 10 years ago - wearing a night splint definitely made it improve; my second round of treatment 6 years ago - orthotics definitely made it better; and this time - scraping (sigh) made it better)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chapter 2 page 420 - TR 158 not really easy

I've been doing this running and training thing for a little more than 2 years so I know that even with the most ideal conditions 4 miles doesn't always feel easy.  It worries me a great deal when 4 miles feels more challenging than it should, but I am going to try to remain calm and remember that I've had LOTS of challenging shorter runs and yet the "big" races still turn out alright!!!  (fingers crossed that this is the case once again!). 

"C" and I did a familiar route, but one that we haven't done in awhile (I really needed a change of scenery from our every week 4 mile route).  We started off with a .5 mile walk and then did a 2:15 & 1:45 interval the rest of the way except for one time after a hill we walked through an interval.  Our runs were faster than normal - at about a 13:15-13:45 m/m pace - not speed work by any stretch of the imagination, but  not our long run pace either.  It felt challenging.  The final 2 run intervals we pushed the pace to a sub 12:00 m/m which was challenging but not impossible.  We did a walking cool down of about .25 miles.

We have one more run before this Saturday's 10 mile race.  We like the 10 Mile race because it's local (Yay for no driving at the break of dawn) plus it's a really good chance to practice our race strategy we hope to use during our upcoming September half. 

Do you have 3 and 4 milers that feel hard?  What have you learned from overcoming these shorter but hard runs?  All advice is welcome!!!  Thanks!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chapter 2 page 419 TR 157 - just 5.25 miles

Today's 5.25 miler was less than stellar, but it was completed and that's what counts.  The sun made this afternoon's session brutal.  It wasn't overly hot, but the high humidity and dew point made the air feel oppressive and heavy - breathing was challenging!  "C" and I are a little banged up (nothing serious - just some aches and pains) so we opted to walk a large portion of this and then did a 2:4 interval for the rest.  Hopefully with some rest over the weekend and an easier running schedule next week (show of hands who LOVES cut back weeks????) we can recover and regroup for our final "push" to our goal half marathon in September. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chapter 2 page 418 - great article worth reading

Ever had a bad run?  Ever feared when multiple bad runs seem to plaque a part of your training cycle?  Yeah, me too!  I've had way more bad runs than good runs, but I just seem to plug away and listen to all of your comments that basically say "they can't all suck!"  And you're right, they don't all suck!  Those good runs, as you know first hand, make it all worth it!  On my blog roll I have several blogs from Runner's World listed.  I find them periodically interesting.  HERE is a great article about 3 reasons to find value even in a bad run.  Happy reading!
Do you have more bad runs than good?  How do you put a bad run in your rear view mirror?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chapter 2 page 417 - TR 156 3 laps of training goodness

Dog Days of Summer - YES, that's what we had today and this evening and still yet tonight.  HOT & HUMID!  It was 91 degrees at 7 p.m. when we started off on our "easy" 4 miler.  JH from our half mary class joined "C" and I for 3 laps (4 miles).  We had a great time - talking about different races and running clothes and training and anything else that came up.  We did a 10 minute walking warm up and then did 2:2 at about 12:00-12:30 m/m pace.  The final 2 minute run was a sprint and I pooped out after just 1:05 (WWWWAAAAAYYYYY too fast!) Oh well, it was a fun challenge and a fun way to end the running segment.  We did a 1.3 mile walking cool down (except there was NOTHING cool about this evening's weather!).  Rest day tomorrow, woo hoo.

If you haven't had a chance to read my guest post (or maybe you thought it was so spectacular you want to read it again) - please click HERE and enjoy!

I wrote a guest post!!!

When Stephanie from Running to Health asked me to write a guest post for her blog I was honored.  PLEASE (pretty please with sugar and spice and all things nice) check it out HERE.  Thanks for jumping over there to read it (I'd feel pretty badly if my guest post was her slowest blog traffic day so get your friends to read it too, and maybe read it a second and third time - it's packed with good information!!!!).

Hope you like it!!!!

What?  You still didn't go over to check it out . . . "You'll get to it?"  Well, please click HERE and go read it right away!!!!   :)   I'm not above begging . . . please oh please oh please - you jus' have to go read it!!!!!  

Have a great day - and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chapter 2 page 416 - TR 155 WOW!

Our training schedule for the week calls for a 3, 4, 5, and 12 (or 13 miler).  As you know, I ran 8.38 on Sunday and ran a half marathon a mere 9 days ago.  I'm NOT like some of you awesome athletes out there - I'm just NOT . . . and that's okay.  Tonight, "C" and I decided that we had the most time and the coolest temperature of the week (think the forecast changed thanks to the hurricane stalling our "front" but . .  ) so we opted to do a long run.  Final distance:  12.05 miles (3:11 - NOT shabby given the first 5.3 miles were trail)

Here's how it went down:
We ran a 5.35 mile trail to start with and did it 10 minutes faster than I have ever done it (does that seem as incredible to you all as it does to me?)! We did a 10 minute walking warm up before we used 2:2 and only walked through 1 interval when I stubbed my toe on a root. This felt REALLY easy!!!!!

After a quick water and fuel stop, we then headed to the paved paths for another 6.65 miles. We walked 1.25 miles then did 2:2 for 1.13 miles then walked .5 miles then did 2:2 for 1.5 miles then walked for 1.13 then did 2:2 for 1 mile and ended with a cool down walk. The first 3 miles on the road felt alright - the last part felt incredibly impossible!

I'm incredibly thankful for a few things:
1.  My training partner who gets me and accepts me for all my running issues.  I had a GREAT time catching up with her - it's been several days since we chatted and so much happens that needs discussion.
2.  My husband - he had prepared dinner and had it hot and ready to eat when I finally got home at almost 9:00 p.m.   It wasn't fancy, but it was delicious - and hot - and ready!  He's a keeper for sure!
3.  Compression sleeves - wow, these are saving my life - I LOVE them!
4.  The stick - after a shower, then a rub down with the stick - ahhhh, it hardly feels like I ran over 10 miles (HA!)
5.  Ice pack - my knee is hurting a bit (no idea why - but I suspect maybe a wee bit too much mileage in too short of a time - need to be careful and rest it with shorter and slower runs the rest of the week . . .next week is a cut back week - WOOT!)

What are the things you're thankful for after a long run?
P.S. I wrote a guest post for Running to Health about dealing with running injuries - it will post on Wednesday 8/24- PLEASE (pretty please) check it out!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chapter 2 page 415 - Drive-in date night

Recently my huby took me out on a Saturday night date . . . to a see a drive-in movie!  It has easily been 30 years (pretty sure E.T. was the last movie I had seen at the drive-in) since I went to a drive in and you'll be shocked to know, NOTHING has changed!!!! Same exact everything!  Same playground equipment, same restrooms, same concession stand, same old time pre-movie commercials for concessions - it's the exact same . . . very much a relict of Americana!  Here's some photos for your enjoyment:
The white rectangle, for those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience a drive-in movie, is the screen!

For those of you who have been to a drive in (likely YEARS ago) - remember those silver boxes that hook on the window so that you can hear the movie?  Yeah, they are still there . . . though, now it can also be piped through your radio which is nice. 

At this theater we were encouraged to eat concessions which were really inexpensive because that is the way this establishment makes money.  My hubby choose a hamburger - he said it was great . . . umm, I wasn't willing to try it!

What's a movie without sharing popcorn?!?!

I chose a big warm pretzels (sorry it's partially eaten - didn't think that this whole date night would be a good blog topic until after a few bites). 

This is what the movie looks like when it begins to storm . . . yeah, and the windows got rolled up . . . and it was incredibly HOT and HUMID inside the car - I thought I was literally going to melt!!!  This was rather unpleasant especially since we had gone on this date a few weeks ago during the height of the July heat wave! 
Not a great photo, but that's the movie playing on the screen after the rain storm.  For only $7 we saw both Rise of the Planet of the Apes (so cute) and Captain America (so stupid!!!!)
Have you been to a drive-in movie?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chapter 2 page 414 - TR 154 big city blogger long run

Today's goals:
1.  Get my long run done for the week (I mean it's Sunday after all - tick tock, the week's winding down).
2.  Run part of the route for my September half marathon (always a good thing to have some "experience" with a route whenever possible). 
3.  Help 2 local runners gain confidence for their upcoming half by helping them experience part of the race route.
4.  Meet up with 2 bloggers (T & K).
5.  Get a "redo" at this same route that left me so exhausted I rolled around in the grass feeling as if I couldn't finish! - I really hoped that wasn't going to be the lasting "taste in my mouth" from this route . . . I AM CAPABLE OF DOING BETTER!  Click HERE if you don't remember my grass rolling "I can't go any further" training run. 

How it played out:
1.  Longish run done - 8.38 miles (in 2h20m using 1:05 & 2:35 intervals - I was a guest of T&A for this one so I went with what they were using - PLUS just a week ago I did the half . . . I've never gone more than like 3 miles after a half before . . . woot woot!)
2.  Part of the route for next months half run - YES  . . . actually did more of the route than we originally planned on (thanks "K" for the new route - a LOT of fun).
3.  Help A & T gain confidence in their Sept half knowing they ran the middle section - I'm not sure that they completely gained the confidence but hopefully it will set in and definitely help them feel confident on race day!  Here's a picture of us with about 1.5 miles left to go - we look like a happy bunch don't we? 
left to right:  T, moi, A
4.  Bloggy meet up - YES - FUN!!!  OH MY GOODNESS . . . I.CANNOT..WAIT.TO.DO.IT.AGAIN!
5.  Route redo - YES . . . "Hi, I'm Wells L and this route is NOT going to get the better of me."  Here's a photo of me in the grass just to show the grass who was boss this time :)
Same grass, such a better run this time!!!!
 I'd say this run was a HUGE success on all fronts!!!! I'm thrilled with all aspects of it!!!!  Check out A's blog HERE to see how she felt about the training run.  Thanks T, A, and K for allowing me to join you!!!!!!  You were AWESOME and I had!!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chapter 2 page 413 - last Chi Town post, I promise: tourist edition

When doing a destination race, it's important to see the sights - that's exactly what we did. . .

Congress Plaza Hotel - race host hotel - very historic!  

It's too bad you can't see the detail - though click on the photo to enlarge it - those mosaics are made up of individual 1/2 inch tiles - B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L!

 Navy Pier - Friday evening/night (perfect time to go - watch the sunset then see the city's lights)

3-D model of the loop . . . at this scale, a human would be the size of a flea . . . 
We used this to 'see' the route we would be running for the half - VERY cool.  Also, every 15 minutes the lighting on the model simulated the lighting/shadows of the summer solstice! 

Willis' Tower (formerly Sear's Tower)
We waited 90 minutes just to get tickets - while we waited a storm had come into the city (BOO!)

Chocolate Shops

Water Tower (mall)

 Downtown Loop Parks

Post race photo looking out to Lake Michigan

Chapter 2 page 412 - TR 153 New Running Biddies & TR 154

TR 153
Last night, I had a BLAST during a training run (for those of you new to reading my blog - TR means training run and the number behind the letters TR is the number of training runs I've done since deciding to begin training for my first half last spring).  Our half marathon class combined with the other half marathon class - WOO a whole new group of friends and running buddies!!!!  Those girls in the other class are FUN!!!!!  Dang it for living so far away - I'd totally run with them everyday . . . heck, I might even love running ;)   There were a total of 6 of us out there running 4 miles together.  A.LOT.OF.FUN!!!!! We walked a mile warm up and .75 cool down, but then did two half mile intervals in the middle 2 miles.  So fun -the weather was nice and we had the opportunity to run in a brand new location - just a lot of fun!!!!

This afternoon "C" and battled the heat this afternoon to get a little training done. We were aiming for 4-5 miles, but my time was pretty short AND the temperature was WAY hotter than the forecast (BOO!).  We walked the first half then did 2:2 intervals on the first mile back  - we did them at a pushed pace (maybe around 13:00 m/m).  We walked the last 1.25 miles.  We opted for more walking due to the heat - we tried to get more shade, but it wasn't working!  My left quad hurt a bit, but all in all I'm super thrilled with how quickly my recovery has come after Sunday's half!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chapter 2 page 411 - The expo. . . runner's dreamland

The Chicago RnR Half expo was HUGE - seriously huge!!!  It was filled with so many samples, products, games, demonstrations, promotional material and items, and vendors that are all over the blogosphere.  It was a LOT of fun - so much so, we spent about 4 hours there!!!  Woo - that's a marathon shopping spree if ever I've had one!!!!

Here are some highlights:

This is Rachel from Bondi Band and she is a lifesaver!!!  I had emailed Rebecca from Bondi Band and asked her a day or so before the expo if there was any way they might have a tiara bondi band amongst their expo stock and if so, would there be any way to hold it back as I would be there Friday afternoon and that would totally make my costume.  When I arrived at the booth - I introduced myself and BAM, Rachel had pulled out 5 bands she had saved out for me.  I was thrilled and ended up with the perfect black and pink one that I wore on race day.  I emailed Bondi Band a costume photo and expressed my gratitude for all of their help!!!!   Not familiar with Bondi Band?  Check them out HERE.  Thanks Bondi Band!!!!!

Awesome Yurbuds folks - I LOVE Yurbuds and told them so - they posed for a cute photo!!!  Not familiar with Yurbuds, click HERE to learn about the incredible headphones that DO.NOT.FALL.OUT!!!!

The lovely folks from CA promoting the Big Sur Half Marathon!  "C", MOA, and I are headed there in November so we got some inside info and enjoyed learning more about the race and community.  Looking forward to our trip!!!