Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When it stops being fun, & and I miss my Debi!!!

I was a basket case two weeks ago after I fell.  I was injured and I couldn't run,  I couldn't really go to the gym to lift weights.  I started to wonder what it would be like to not be a runner anymore.

I have been pretty hard on myself lately.  Why?!  No one cares how fast I run. My PR's only matter to me.

Running has been the be all and end all for me. I've been a runner for over 20 years.  I ran cross country in high school, it propelled me through basic training in the Army, and I've wrapped up my adult identity in being a runner.  Take that away from me, and what do you have left? Yep I know it sounds like  It's crazy talk because I'm still a wife, mother, friend, daughter and, a co-worker....

2014 was a great year for me running wise.  I set a few goals, and I followed a pretty rigid training schedule with a few different races throughout the year. I also thought that I was giving myself enough time to recover from events to avoid burn out...

Why I started this blog in 2011

It seemed like everyone had a blog,  I thought it would be really easy to provide content and hopefully receive some freebies a long the way.  But, in reality this blog fills a very big void for me....

I lost my training partner in 2011-  She didn't pass away, she moved to the other end of the valley. In 2013 she moved away to the opposite side of the country. She was the best runner friend I could have ever asked for.
One of our famous runs on the Las Vegas Strip

I met her in 2007 when I was at another crossroads with my training.  I had been casually training for marathons,  and I would race shorter distance events for fun.  I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but I wasn't close to a qualifying time.

 I had seen her in the hallways at my work, and I noticed how buff her legs were.  I had spoken to her about training, and she told me she was a triathlete.  IMO she seemed pretty cocky.  But, she had reason to be.  We had both recently finished the LA Marathon, and she BQ'd and finished 25 minutes ahead of me. I didn't think she would want to train with me anyway.

A few months later I started a 16 mile run from my house, and she also started a long run from her town home.  A few hours later we literally ran into each other,  and we ended up finishing our run together that day.  We soon became fast friends and training partners.

She made me believe in myself, and she made running long distances fun.  Her strengths were my weaknesses, and my weaknesses were here strengths.  I was better at the shorter distances, and she would "wake up" at mile 16 of a 20 mile run.   We would talk about everything under the sun.  We also never did any formal speed work.   We would run a 10 miler on Monday,  another 10 on Thursday, & then something long on the weekend.  Our 10 milers would begin with us talking and joking, and then about halfway through we would turn on our music and get to "work" at tempo pace.  

It wasn't always good times,  there were a few disagreements, arguments, & yelling matches.   But, we never held a grudge.

For the past year, I have been trying to replace my training partner with a Garmin, and it doesn't hold a candle to my Debi...

I hope you come to visit this year!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

You are going to take it easy whether you like it or not!

So I'm typing this blog post with one hand..  I sprained my wrist earlier this week, more on that later...

I'm feeling really angsty right now, so I hope this post doesn't sound too whiny. Last week I was recovering from a hip injury.  I wasn't sure how bad it was, but I think I just had a muscle strain on my outer left hip.  I vowed to take it easy for the next month and no speed work for two months.

My training last week looked like this:

Monday 2/2  -Rest
Tuesday 2/3 -Rest
Wednesday 2/4 3 mile run @ recovery pace
Thursday 2/5  3 mile run @ recovery pace
Friday 2/6  Circuit Training at the gym
Saturday 2/7 Rest
Sunday 2/8 Rest (my baby girl turned 2)

Last month I was adding items to my wish list/wait list for e-books with the local library.  I put myself on the wait list for a book on running called 80/20.  It became available over the weekend, and I dove in head first.  I began to ask myself, "Am I running my easy runs too fast?" and "Will slowing down help me go faster?"

At this point with my running I'm worried that I am no longer improving and that I am starting to feel burnt out.  I love to run and race, and training for a race always gives me a goal and something to look forward too.  Training with a Garmin has given me the ability to track paces, and stats.  But, I think the Garmin is messing with my head.  Also going from one race to the next with speed work in the mix has left my body feeling tired.

But, back to 80/20-  I decided to try out running slower, than my easy pace for a training run.  I went for an easy 3 mile run on Monday during my lunch break and here's what happened....
right knee

left knee

I think I was trying to focus on running slowly too much.  I was trying to cross the street and while I was paying attention to the cars, I stopped paying attention to the road beneath my feet.  I don't think I lifted my foot off the ground high enough and I caught it on a raised edge of the sidewalk and I fell.  I got up really fast and kept on running because I felt really lame.  I was so mad after I fell.  I just felt so dumb, I got back to my office cleaned up my knees and then I finished my workout, with some circuit training.

I was full of piss an vinegar on Monday, thinking "I'm fine it's just some scrapes", but then I noticed my wrist feeling really sore, and by Tuesday morning. I really felt like shit.

I haven't ran since then, and I'm not going to try to lift weights with a sprained wrist.  I'm also beating myself up for being careless.  What if I would have hit my head on the sidewalk first?  

I don't even care about 80/20 running anymore....  I just don't want to be in any pain for the next few weeks..

On the bright side of things my hip doesn't hurt anymore.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Big Game 10k Race Recap

I could have named this recap "how to positively split a 10k", but I won't.  I also have a running injury/issue that I want to address.

I made it in just under my "C" goal.  I'm not too disappointed with my performance.  I have quite a few different thoughts about this race overall,  There were issues with the course, timing, and results. I hope I can give an honest and coherent recap.

Before the Race
I saw this race online a few months ago, I was waiting until after the holidays to register, it was a good thing I waited because  a Groupon was being offered and I only paid $19 for the race.   But, you get what you pay for...
The course could have been set up  much better than this
The 5k course also merged with the 10k course during the
second half.

I also did some speed work earlier in the week at Cornerstone Park.  At the time I thought this was a splendid idea.  I only had to run 6 x 400 meters.  Hindsight is now 20/20 and I wish I would have stayed off of the concrete paths in the park.

Morning of the Race
I got up a little before 5am and made breakfast.  I had a small pancake with butter, half of a banana, two eggs, and coffee.  I fed my kids breakfast and then I got dressed.   The temps were going to be in the low 50's with no wind so I went with a T-shirt and shorts. I also turned a pair of cheap pajama socks into hand warmers..  For shoes I decided to go with my Brooks Launch shoes instead of my Brooks Pure Flows.
Even though you are about 5 years old. You are still
a great pair of shoes.

When I had done a speed workout earlier in the week at Corner Stone Park, and  I noticed that my Pure Flows were feeling kind of worn and I could really feel the road beneath my feet.  The Brooks Launch offers a bit more cushioning and feels more like a normal running shoe.

I left my house at 6:30 to drive to the downtown area.  The race started at 8am but, I wanted to get good parking and have time to warm up.  My; friend Jenn was also running the 10k that morning.  I waited for her and then we went to packet pick up together.

It's always nice to have my friend with me,  it makes the time before the race go by so much faster, and it helps me from getting too nervous.  I also said hello to fellow runners that I recognized.
Cheap socks make great throwaway gloves.
I love my Jenny!

For my warm up I jogged a mile and I did  a few strides.  My groin and hip felt a  little tight.

The Race
My goal was to run a negative split race, and keep my pace in the low seven minute range, and hopefully break 44 minutes....
I lined up a few rows back from the front.  I noticed that the Red Rock Running Team was representing.  They have a women's and men's team with some pretty fast local runners.  I knew I didn't have a shot at top 3 women overall, but I was hoping to at least snag an age group award.  At the last minute I decided to wear my ipod.  I'm really glad I made that choice.

The gun went off and I found my groove.  I looked down at my watch and saw 6:30 pace (shit!) and I backed off a bit.  There were a few ladies in front of me and I hoped that I could reel a few of them in.

Mile 1-7:02

When we rounded the corner, we had to run down a street to the end and then flip a 180 degree turn to run back down the street.  No biggie, except there were four 180 degree turns throughout the race, and  I was also worried that some runners wouldn't be honest and would try to cut across the road before they made it to the turn around point....

Mile 2-7:12

I turned on my ipod, and focused on the runners ahead of me.  At the first turn around point I noticed that I was the 8th woman overall.

Toshie is also wearing orange and she is closing the gap
between us.

Mile 3-7:10
I was able to catch one female runner ahead of me during this mile, and I passed a few dudes.  My runner friend Toshie also went cruising by me during this mile.  I didn't have enough will to try to hang with her.  She seemed to be running much stronger than I was.

Mile 4-7:20
The 5k race started 15 minutes after the 10k start.  The lead males began to pass me.  My left hip/quad is burning like a mother.  I can run, but it hurts.

Mile 5 -7:26
I can feel someone breathing down my neck,  With a mile to go he makes his move to pass me. But, he didn't get to far away from me. Another guy passed the both of us.

Mile 6- 7:28
I knew we were getting close to the finish,  I don't think I realized how close the end was,  I had a really good finishing kick, and I was able to out kick the two guys that I was sort of running with.

.27  1:53  (6:53 pace)

Garmin Time 45:31
Official Time 44:59

10th woman overall and 3rd in my age group.

Okay this is where the rant comes in..... They messed up the finish line/course.  Quite a few 10k runners cut the course short at the end.  There were no barricades to prevent the runners from cutting the course. I even remember my friend Toshie taking a wrong turn, and having to turn around before the finish line,

Here's a snapshot of my pace..

I would have to slow down each time I hit a corner or turn around. point   It's hard to keep your momentum going, with all of the turns.

Also I could have sworn that I was the 8th female overall.  I know that with chip timing someone could start after me, and finish after me and have a faster time, but that's not what happened.

They had the 5th place finisher finishing in 40:XX (chip time) and her gun time was finishing 44:45, about 14 seconds ahead of me, that means she would have had to have passed right by me during the final stretch of the course.  But, that didn't happen!!!  (they have since cleaned up the final results to show chip time only).  Also how come there is such a big difference between my Garmin time and the chip time?  I know it works in my favor, but  I can't really take credit for running that fast....

This wasn't a huge race and in the grand scheme of things NO1CURR.

Here's a picture of the winners

Erica was 3rd, Laura was 1st, and Amanda was 2nd.
The first two ladies went sub 39, and Erica went sub 40.
These ladies are also really friendly and nice

After the race I was really effing worried.  My groin felt really tight and I had a dull throbbing ache on the side of my hip as well.

I didn't stick around for the awards because I had to hurry home.

Running Injury/Issue

My left hip has been bothering me for a little while.  I'm not exactly sure when things started to get screwy.  I"m not even really sure what is wrong with my hip....  Last month I think I pulled a small muscle in my hip while doing one legged planks on a stability ball.
Back in September when I ran the Saints and Sinners half, I noticed that my left quad/hip started to burn during the 4th mile of the race.  I just figured it was from the downhill pounding of the course. If we go back even further, I suffered a groin strain on my left leg in March right before the Mustang Half Marathon.

I don't really remember my hip bothering me much during the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon or during my brief marathon training.  I don't think running mileage is the problem, so much as pace being the problem.

The last month has been pretty heavy on speed work. weight training, and tempo runs. It's only been 10 weeks since RNR Vegas.  Since then I have raced a half marathon, took one week to recover from that, and then I threw myself into speed work training for this 10k....

And in all honesty I don't even think that my speed workouts made any difference.  I think I could have just trained for this 10k by running my normal mileage and weight training.  I think I'm a real big idiot for trying to whip myself up into "fast' 10k shape in one month's time.

I could have probably had the same effect if I would have  just lost a few vanity pounds....

Right now I'm just feeling sorry for myself.  I went for a short run today, I was able to run, almost three miles (yay!)  however, when I tried to speed up while crossing the street I felt my hip twinge.

I have since decided that there will be no spring half marathon.    I'm writing this out so that I am held  accountable.  I will not be doing any speed work for the next two months.  For the next month I'm going to be doing very light running.   I have to give my hip time to heal.  I'm hoping that this is a muscle strain and nothing more serious.

I'm sorry for the rant, and thanks for reading :)