Thursday, July 29, 2010

10 weeks to chicago. and mileage.

Oh. Why hello blahgesphere. Good to see you're still out there as I've been holing myself away for a few weeks. For no reason other than feeling uninspired and just plain hot really. It's just hot. I'm hot. ALL. THE. TIME. And I will throw this out there now, at the risk of being unfollowed for such blasphemy. I am not a fan of summer (unless i'm on or near a body of water). It drains me and makes me tired and kind of grumpy. I lose most motivation to do things, and honestly when it gets above 100 degrees I like to pretend the world isn't going on around me. My husband makes fun of me for this fact on a regular basis. Something about how I am about as Nordic as they come and how I would happily live in the mountains, skiing my way around everywhere, wearing furry boots and earmuffs. Oh don't think I wouldn't!

However. Yes, this is a big fat however. I have been managing to run (despite a week straight of 100+ temps plus at least 30% humidity everyday--don't worry, that's at least, it's usually a good 70% or so) in the flatland summer. Should I continue whining or just suck it up and tell you about my running? I'll move onto running, my whining isn't attractive, although I bet it's a bag of chuckles to read!

Moving on. Running. Yes. It's been going well, China is actually not bothering me too much the past few weeks. I'm keeping it in check and it hasn't caused too much problem. I heeded the advice in my comments and have been taking care of it regularly and also drinking beer. Hey, who am I to defy a commenter? I do tend to wear my recovery socks on a lot of longer runs, despite the heat. It helps. All of which brings me to my big happy news (see, totally done whining).

Interwebs, I hit a mileage PR last month. I was thrilled. A mileage PR.... UNINJURED! SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!

This brings me to my next point. Mileage. Okay, so yes I hit a mileage PR for July, but I intend to hit another one this month, and again next month, then again in October. Sensing a theme here? I've decided, thanks in part to one smart running chicken's running wisdom, that I haven't been running enough miles in training for a marathon. Last spring I was doing maybe 25 miles a week. Then when the this guy mentioned he cramped up thanks to lack of training mileage I started really thinking about it.

I came to the conclusion that my low mileage absolutely had something to do with my OKC fail. I wasn't running enough for what my body needed to go out and run a marathon at the pace I set out at. Go figure! In my training defense of the spring, I was so terrified of getting hurt that I ran a minimal amount to preserve my legs. Of course, in the end it was my downfall even if it did keep me from initial injury (but wow my legs paid for that marathon for weeks afterwards). Since I'm feeling great running wise and have no sign of injuries (we are coming up on the one year anniversary of my last stress fx mind you) I'm going to keep pushing my mileage for Chicago.

And perhaps, with the right fueling (mistake no. 1 in okc this year), higher mileage (mistake no. 2 in okc) and smarter crossing training (not really a mistake, just a little extra lesson i learned) I will finally run a marathon in Chicago like I know I'm capable of, which is well.

Week 5 - Chicago Training
Wednesday = 7 miles
Thursday = 6 miles
Saturday = 6 miles
Sunday = 14 miles

Total = 33 miles

Week 6 - Chicago Training
Tuesday - 4 miles
Wedendsay - 6 miles
Thursday - 4 miles
Saturday - 5 miles
Sunday - 16 miles

Total = 35 miles

Total Miles for July = 117

Normally I would downplay something like my monthly mileage PR, knowing that for a LOT of runners that is nothing for monthly mileage, that is in fact really low mileage. But in the end, it's a PR for me. Like I said, I'm pretty thrilled about it and excited to see where my running goes from here. Especially once the humidity dies down and my body is all....awwwww snap, there it is. Time to run ho-bag! It's gonna be a good fall. I just wish it were going to be here tomorrow.

This week I am struggling a bit though, I'm having sinus grossness and it's been extra hot this week. But that won't stop me. I am going to run seven miles tonight and so help me if I don't come back tomorrow to post the fact that I ran seven miles... This is why I'm posting mileage on my blog this time around. I don't want to humiliate myself and come back here and have to admit I didn't run because I was tired, or didn't feel 100%. So tomorrow. Hold me to it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

12 weeks to chicago.

My training for the week went well enough, despite a few debacles and fighting the desire to sit in air conditioning and sleep in (who doesn't battle this most of the time?), I met my goal mileage of 30 miles this week. If I wasn't trying to cut out most sugar in my diet right now, I'd go stuff my face with all manner of candy. Instead I'll drink some water with Crystal Lite in it. Exciting, I know.

My legs are a little tired and sore, as I mentioned before I was peaking around 32 or so miles last spring for OKC training. Plus, I haven't been babying my legs like I was this spring because for the most part I am feeling great. However, add lack of babying to training at a faster pace with higher mileage and my legs are getting a teensy bit grumpy. Most notably that knot the size of China in my left calf. Right now I'm swearing by "the stick." I am convinced it's keeping me from physical therapy since China sure won't give up and leave. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get rid of that sucker, please share.

I'm at a frustrated loss over that knot, pretty sure I was in tears last night because of it. Both from the pain of digging "the stick" into it so hard I was shaking and just general frustration that it isn't going away. It will diminish and loosen up some, but by the end of the week (after being neglected) China comes back with a vengeance. In fact, I resorted to running most of my 10 miles in recovery socks on Saturday despite high heat and humidity even at 6:30a. I stripped them off around mile 6 and that was a huge mistake,.

If I don't do something about China (and my legs in general which tend to get knotty all over) after every run, it's going to jump up and destroy me. I just know it. I try to go to yoga three times a week and use my arsenal of leg fixers: the stick, the foam roller, and the trigger point ball. Yeah I'm a high maintenance runner, I mean, look at the name of my blog for goodness sake. I never claimed not to be! But come on, I'm 31, scrawny and can't help it I knot up. It is what it is, so yeah, I have to baby my legs. That lesson has been learned the hard way after years of injury and FAILING. It's clearly doing the trick, but just enough. I'm still kind of worried this calf knot is going to turn into something wicked at some point. HYSTERIA!

In the end, besides China, I'm feeling positive and hopeful for Chicago. Maybe the third time really IS the charm, but I still have 12 weeks to go and a lot can happen. For now I'm focused on the fact that running is making me happy, I'm feeling good, and staying healthy. I'm grateful just to be out there doing it. Maybe it's age, but I am so much more appreciative of the fact I can simply get up and run when I want to than I ever have been before. Running makes me happy. Period.

Week 4 - Chicago Training:
Wednesday - 6 miles
Thursday - 8.5 miles
Saturday - 10 miles
Sunday - 6 miles
Total = 30 miles

Friday, July 16, 2010

joggers and lagers.

Oh my. Where to start with this. Maybe at the beginning? So one day on a 10 miler with my Chicago training buddy Shelley we came up with the brilliant idea to start a chick's running group where once a month we run a few miles, starting and ending at a local downtown bar, then eat and drink and be merry with fun running buddies.

Well fast forward about a month , and we managed to put together a group that we expanded to be chicks AND dudes, a Facebook fan page and BAM, we had the Joggers and Lagers inaugural run. Our home base is called The Anchor, a bar with amazing food and tons of excellent beer on tap in downtown Wichita. Our first group meeting was last month, the third Thursday to be exact. With five girls showing up and a few boys AFTER the run (so doesn't count, no fair boys, boo). We went about three miles at a walk/run pace and just had a good time. I loved it. Then the beer and amazing food after made it all even better. Joggers and Lagers was an immediate success! Of course!

*our first group of joggers and lagers, and yes the girl on the far right is pregnant, isn't she precious? the baby has since been born and mama even joined the group again last night. TROOPER!*

Moving onto this month's Joggers and Lagers. It was last night, and it was even more fun than the month before. We had seven girls this time (including the new mama) and took more pictures and let's just say it was a bit more out of control. My blahggie buddies Hannah and Michele joined in, and of course The Lawyer was there as well.

*michele, jennifer and i hanging with the random guitar statue guy in downtown. because why wouldn't we? that's why.*

*channeling rocky, but wichita style. our stairs are SO much less impressive, but we
MEANT it nonetheless! and yes we are total nerds and proud of it. SHAMELESS.*

Let me just say I learned a few lessons last night, for example if I never knew before when it comes to the "flight or fight" instinct which one I go for? Definitely flight. Another lesson? Always, always communicate with The Lawyer (also known as the keeper of the FWR). In addition, Hannah and I should not be left to our own devices when crossing streets. We do so with complete reckless abandon. It's been established The Lawyer needs to keep a tight reign on us, we were thinking shock collars...

As for the flight or fight. Well, you see. The thing is that I got up at 4:45a yesterday morning to run what was supposed to be nine miles, but ended up being a very disastrous and awkward 5.5. For those reasons I didn't want to run too far last night, one group was run/walking and the other group was running four miles. I started with the four milers and decided to go about 1.5 miles with them, turn around and book it back to the river path entrance and meet the other group of walkers. And of course I CLEARLY DID NOT communicate this fact to The Lawyer. So I booked it back to the path entrance. No group. Keep in mind at this point I realized I didn't: 1) have my phone 2) my road ID was on my other shoes. Crap.

I decided to keep booking it until I caught up, which had to be soon, I just KNEW it. Uh, no. Not the case. A mile and a half and some speedwork later and right in front of the bar where we end, I caught up to them. Right. It wasn't that I felt totally unsafe, I'm just not used to running without my phone or with someone else. And I was in downtown alone (read: shady characters wandering aimlessly around on the route i was running). The worst was running underneath a dark creepy covered bridge alone when I could clearly see a said shady looking person sitting on a bench at the end of the bridge. Shiver. Oh don't judge. Yeah, I'm a wimp. So what? Regardless I was fine, and I got my speedwork in for the week.

*running along the river, my favorite place to run in my city*

*the HILL downtown. isn't this picture just amazing, the green hill with the dark storm clouds? welcome to kansas people. it rained like a mother while we were happily eating and drinking away after our run*

After the run one of the girls' husband joined us. He is a TNT coach, he runs lots of marathons (and fast), ultras, as in 100 mile ultras and tons of other races. I think my jaw was on the table during most of the conversation I had with him. I asked if he had ever passed out during a 100 miler, he said no. I of course then, seeing how I will never run ultras, pulled out the "being taken out by ambulance in my last marathon" card. What? Hey, if you've got the card, play it my friends... just sayin'. Cause that's probably as exciting as my running career will get, my claim to fame if you will. "I fell at mile 24.8 of a marathon and had an IV shoved in my arm in the street." So you better bet I'm gonna milk it, did you expect anything else?!

In the end, month two of Joggers and Lagers was a complete success. I feel so proud!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

13 weeks to chicago.

I'm a few weeks into training for Chicago, and it finally set in, I AM RUNNING CHICAGO! This fact makes me a happy girl. You see, I have a list. I love lists by the way, they are fantastic, they make my world feel right somehow.

This list is short and sweet and it contains my ultimate must run marathons in my lifetime:
1) Chicago
2) New York
3) San Francisco Nike Women's

Notice Boston isn't on there? I think I could happily end my running career having done those three marathons and never qualifying, I'm actually kinda over the BQ thing for some reason. I just don't care anymore. I know, I can't even believe I wrote that, but it's true. I'm not sure the above listed marathons will all happen, but having No. 1 crossed of the list? Well, that will do for now.

Chicago. So far training has gone well, last week was a bit lax, but that's because I was on vacation. So meh. I still got in some great hilly runs and plenty of rest (which is vital for my running i have learned). Now that I'm back home I am staying on schedule, and feeling good. I'm not even worried about jinxing myself by writing about Chicago, or how I've remained injury free so far, or how I'm loving my runs, or how great I'm feeling inside and out, or how my monthly mileage for Chicago is already surpassing what I did the first two months for OKC. Even though it's hot, muggy and generally disgusting running weather. I love it. I'm excited to get out the door at 5:30a 4-5 days a week to run. And this is why.

Since Chicago is sort of my 'see what I'm made of and if marathons are for me' race (ha race, i use that term loosely). I am giving this marathon everything I have. EVERYTHING. I will run when I'm tired, when I don't feel like getting up at 5a, or feel beat down and over it (uhhh, hello 20 milers in august in kansas with 90 degrees and 70% humidity, can you say hell) or just don't wanna. The thing is I can't run this marathon without giving it my best, something I've never given a marathon before. Yeah I'm totally admitting that. I have never given a marathon my all, and hopefully that's why the past 1.9 marathons didn't go so well for me. I have to go out knowing Chicago got every ounce of everything "running" I had.

I'm still on the no-plan-plan. Kind of. I am planning out my weekend long runs, simply out of necessity: you know, general respect of my spouse and his schedule and needs, being out of town a few weekends during training, a little sanity, etc. My goal is to get up to 45 - 50 miles at the peak of my training. Starting now with no less than 30 miles a week (exception of last week's vacation), and cross train like nobody's business. Please note that at the height of OKC training? I was around 32 miles, that just isn't gonna hack it.

Whew, so now that I have all of that off my chest, in the next few weeks, as I chronicle my Chicago countdown, I plan to include bits and pieces from what I think happened in OKC, what I've learned and different things I'm finding work for me and my running. All of the above? Yeah, it's all for me to note and look back on, stuff you may not care about. Between those posts? I'll still offer you the good stuff.... don't you worry.

Week 3 - Chicago Training:
Tuesday - 4.37 of wicked hills
Thursday - 4
Friday - 5
Saturday - 12
Total = 25.37

Monday, July 12, 2010

things i heart.

This is Milo taking his usual water break during one of our runs (or walks) together. This fountain is down the street from where I live and I make it a point to run by it whenever I have Milo with me so he can stop and get a drink.

It took him a few shots to figure out how best to make this work, there were a few mishaps, but the boy sure has mastered the art of drinking from the fountain for sure. It's quite entertaining and never fails to make me laugh and smile. Every. Single. Time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

drink my kool-aid.

Hey if I can convince a few lawyers to drink my kool-aid, you KNOW it must be good. I'm on the Twitters interwebs. I have been for awhile, but decided I would really like to connect with all the rest of the blahggies out there in twitterverse. However, the fact of the matter is I'm not clever enough to find all of you, so help me out here. Follow me so I can stalk you. Please.

Love your future twitter stalker XOXOXO,

On a brief and different note: I'm getting ready to go on vacation, but after that posts about training for Chicago shall begin, can't wait can you? I have lots of thoughts on going through marathon training cycle No. 4 for marathon No. 2.7 (confusing). I've learned a lot and have a somewhat different approach this time. I'll probably also note along the way what went wrong in OKC this year, what I'm changing and what works for me (we are all different!). I think I've got it all narrowed down and figured out, but we'll see for sure on 10.10.10. In the meantime, these are a few brief thoughts on OKC and will give you an idea of what I'm changing:

1) i didn't run enough times or miles per week for any marathon training i've ever done

2) i have a decent base this time around, something i never had before (bad idea) since i was always coming off of a stupid injury

3) i'm going to train at a pace that i believe is best suited for me, for example running my long runs faster. i know some people say it doesn't matter how fast you train on your long runs, but i don't believe that is the case for me, i think that was a huge contributing factor to my downfall in OKC this year

4) i am ready for the pain and agony of training for chicago, where i don't think i was before. what i'm saying is i'm ready to work my ass off for this sucker, like i never have before. because if chicago doesn't go well? i'm out on mararthons, i'll concede to the distance and acknowledge and accept they aren't for me.

Bring. It. On. More to come on all of that business at a later date.

For now, happy July 4th, go blow stuff up in honor of our Country. I know I will be... well along with water skiing, hanging with the fam, training on some massive Ozark hills, eating too much and sleeping as much as I want. I heart vacation.