Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marathon Check In

Yes, I know. My husband told me over and over "you're going to burn out on your blog if you keep posting every day."

I assumed that he was purely motivated from his jealousy that he couldn't come up with daily blog posts for his own blog. HA! I'm a better blogger than you!!!

Maybe I was for a few weeks, but then I became a lazy, or rather, school started, so I stopped posting. I justified it by saying that the purpose of the blog was to motivate me to get back into steady running, and since it served its purpose, I no longer intended to write posts. Well, now I want to post again to really get myself revved up for the next phase of my training. I have 10 total weeks until my marathon, about 6 weeks of hard training left, and 3 more long runs.

Yesterday, I did an 18 miler that really wasn't half bad. Even with walk breaks, I ended up at about a 10:40 pace over all. Last year, I was running faster than that on my long runs, but I was also getting injured left and right. An IT band here, a runner's knee there, where as this year, my soreness is pretty much gone after a good night's rest.

On a another positive note, my pace on shorter runs is picking up considerably. Last week, I ran 12 miles, all of which were under a 10, and the seven mile repeats I did were all under 9 with even a few 8:30 miles. So my shorter runs this year are actually ahead of where I was last year.

More importantly, I'm realizing that I actually enjoy some of this "speed" work. (not that I am actually speedy)

Another update, I have lost all but 3 pounds of San Francisco weight. I'm just dandy with the slow and steady approach and would guess that the rest will probably come off with the increase in training.

Here is a training plan for the next several weeks:

Week 1: M- 5 easy
Th- 6
F- 6
Su- 9 mile repeats w/ warm up and cool down
Total- 28
Week 2:
M- 4 easy
W - 6 with accelerations
Th- 4 at marathon pace
Sa- 21
Total- 35
Week 3:
M- 5 easy
T- 6 marathon pace
Th- 8 with accel.
Sat- 11 mile repeats at sub- 9 pace
Total- 30
Week 4:
M- 5 easy
W- 7 marathon pace
F - 4 with accel.
Su- 24
Total- 40

Hopefully, the busy holiday season at school will not derail me. Wish me determination!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Best Run in Weeks!

Here is a recap of my "long" runs the past three weeks as I have been coming out of recovery:

2 weeks ago: 6.25 miles. In shoes, significant plantar pain at mile five.

1 week ago: 8.5 miles. In shoes, significant plantar pain at mile six.

Today: 13 miles.

I know I got a little help from the weather today, which was only about 10 degrees above perfect instead of 30, but I'm still incredibly happy with the results. It was not entirely pain free. I started in my Vibrams and by mile 7, I had some moderate pain on the anterior side of my foot, but it was not enough to stop. After 9 miles, my energy level was still pretty high, and I had the great idea to pass by my house and grab the real shoes. Worked like a charm. The last 4 miles were felt really good. The only thing that was weird was the way it felt running in shoes compared to the Vibrams. You know how you feel when you have just been jumping on a trampoline for a long time and then you try to walk on solid ground? It was like that for about half a mile. Strange, since all the shoe companies like to advertise that their shoes will put an extra bounce in your step. Since when does adding a rubber ankle weight make you feel lighter?

Anyway, here is the thing that I have to accept at this point: I have to actually start planning my weeks now that I see that my feet are almost up to snuff. I am sooooo slooooooow right now. I have been doing my long runs slower because that is what Galloway says to do, but I have no excuse for my 10 minute pace on my short midweek runs. I am definitely going to have to bump it up a couple of notches on my Tuesday and Thursday runs. I am ready for more optimistic training. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kindness of Strangers

An interesting thing happened to me tonight on my 5-miler. I was at about the 3.5 mile point at a stoplight standing next to a man who seemed to be in his late-fifties to early sixties. I can always tell if a man that age is a real runner because he will inevitably meet the following description:

-Cotton 10K race shirt
-Said race shirt tucked into shorts
-Said shorts are slightly too short
-Socks slightly too long
-Nike Pegasus or some other old Asics standby

The only thing different about this man was that he was wearing a Garmin, so I knew for sure that it was okay to talk to him.

"Sure is dark out here," he said.

"Yeah, but I'll do anything to run in this weather."

And so began our half-mile of running chit chat.

I found it very odd that someone like this man, who was obviously a rich old runner, (He told me he had just been running in Paris the week before with his wife. uhhhhh....yeah, me too, I run by the Eiffel Tower like all the time!) would start running with me for no apparent reason.

When I chose to run the fork in the road where it takes off down a dark path under a bridge, he said "Are you sure you are going to run down there? It sure is dark. I sometimes worry about my wife running in these parts even during the day, but if you're going down there, I'll go with you."

And then I figured it out. He was doing it just to be nice, because he saw a younger woman running by herself at night. It seems that chivalry at least has a pulse.

Of course, his plan probably backfired, because now I feel even less threatened running by the bayou knowing that people like my mystery veteran runner are around. This still does not entirely counteract the fact that I have been sitting on the ground bleeding more than once on that trail with people passing me left and right, but it goes a little way to make me feel better about the world.

Thanks old-timer!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Morning Glory

This morning, I woke up at 4:30. Just woke up. No reason. No alarm......other than my stupid dog jumping on my face. The only time this ever happens is if he has diarrhea, so I figured I had to get up. (Then my husband got up instead.) Apparently, Beasley had an extremely urgent need to sniff the grass and take a tiny whiz on his favorite shrub. This was the big event that I got up at 4:30 in the morning for and then was just too plain excited for him to be able to go back to sleep. My friend tells me that this is just preparation for having children. If this is true, the husband and I might be the type of parents that you see on the news for dipping the nipple of the baby bottle in beer to make the kid sleep.

uhhhhhhhh......just kidding.......really.

Anyway, it wasn't worth just laying in bed for an hour so I got up. I contemplated a run for about two seconds, but then decided that was too ridiculous a precedent to set, and just went to work.

I did manage to fit in a jog at Terry Hershey today. I usually take the day off on Wednesdays, but I was actually smart enough to plan ahead and bring the ten pounds of gear that it takes to get me to run. The run sucked, to be honest. Probably would have been better if I didn't hate the sun so much, but it was hot and there is like 1 water fountain for ever three miles. Who planned that?

On a positive note, the foot is doing much better! I think I'm getting close to 100%. I was starting to get a little worried there, but it looks like things are going in the right direction. Phew!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

From Bad to Better

This weekend started out as total garbage. First, I had Friday night fever, literally. Me on a fever is a pretty tragic sight. I morph from an energetic, capable person, to a blob of emotions and lethargy. Last year, I tried to go to school with a fever once, and my kids were so freaked out that one of them got another teacher to watch the class and walked me down to the nurse. So my husband, being the genius that he is, knew what he had to do.

He rented me a Zac Ephron movie and got some takeout. Apparently, it worked, because I woke up this morning, feeling glorious. Maybe it was the 11 hours of sleep. Maybe it was Zac. I tend to think it was a little of both.

Zac Effron in 'Me and Orson Welles'

Me and Orson Welles is actually a really good movie, by the way.

Anyway, the weekend just got better and better. Went to a double feature movie today as members of my family are notorious for doing. (My dad once did 4.33 movies in one sitting. Madness.) THEN, even at 5:00 PM, the weather was faaaaaaaabbbuuulouuussssss!

So, I tried to be a little brave today by going for seven miles. My left foot is still a little iffy, but I've been smart, so I thought I could handle it. First, I started out in my shoes. That was a bust. Within the first half mile, my foot was already hurting. So, I turned back for the Vibrams, and I'm so glad I did. I can't imagine how I was able to go so much further barefoot, but I'm sold more and more every day. I stopped at 6 and a quarter because I didn't want to push it too much, but it was still a successful day. I guess I will be sticking to the Vibrams until I'm completely healed. Woohoo!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Funniest Things I've Heard in the Past Week

Here is a compilation of the things that have really made me smile. Or, they irritated me at first and then made me smile later.

From the Guy that sold me the Vibrams:

Me- "I'm a little worried about the size. I may need to go a size up because my toes are kind of long."

Him- While looking at my feet, "Oh. Yeah, I see what you mean. That second toe is really something."


From a student at school when she saw my shoes:

With a very concerned look on her face,"Mrs. Brown, I don't think you are allowed to wear those to school."

On a note that was picked up in the 6th grade hall at my school:

"Trust me, I'm a skater."

On Youtube:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On the Road Again

Foot is not at 100% yet, but as I could not stand to go another day without running, I decided to take my Five Fingers for a little spin yesterday.

Verdict: I LOVE THEM!!!!

In my three mile run yesterday, I think I realized why my 3rd metatarsal is hurting. When I was running in shoes, even though I had a forefoot strike, I was stiffening the muscles when I would hit the ground. In the Vibrams, I had to allow my ankles and heels to follow through with the motion after the strike. It's kind of like catching an egg that has been tossed in the air: you have to move your hand with the egg to increase the amount of time in which the egg feels the impact so it does not have too much impact at any one point in time. If you just hold your hand flat and don't move it, the egg will crack.

Even after running, my foot feels a little better than it did yesterday. 2nd bonus: no soreness! I think that my muscles were already pretty well prepared for the toe shoes from several months of ball-strike, so I did not have the same problems as many others who convert. Success!

Hopefully, I will be able to post more this week than the past couple of weeks. The beginning of the school year sure has been crazy, but I'm starting to find some routine. So glad to start a new week!