Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's Birthday Week, Shoe Talk, My Hip Issue Mystery Solved?, and some training updates.

Hi everyone.  My birthday is coming up this weekend, and I"m looking forward to turning one year older and wiser.  Last week I was really torn on how I wanted to celebrate. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a long run or find a local 5k to race.

Last week I also headed to my local running store and I asked to have my gait looked at, and to browse my shoe options.   My hip is still a little sore sometimes, and now my feet are feeling a little weird.

Birthday Run

 I usually try to run something long (10 miles and above is long for me) on my birthday.  Last year I had a wonderful 14 mile run.  The temperature was a lovely 60 degrees.  But this year it is a different story. It is getting hotter much earlier in the year for Las Vegas Valley. We just hit 93 for the daytime high on Sunday.   I was worried that  my Friday lunch time run wouldn't be very comfortable if the temps are going to be that hot.

 I started looking at 5k runs, and there were about six different events this past weekend.  But, none of them worked for my schedule..  I found a  few different 5k's but most of them started at 9am.  I prefer to race at 7am, so I can be home with the kids by 9am.

In a few years I will start bringing them with me to participate in the  kids fun runs, if they want to join mom.  I think it's still a little to early to try to force my hobby on them

As it turns out that the temps are only going to hit the high 70's on Friday, so that makes it doable for a long run, during the middle of the day.

I also found another 5k for later on this month that starts at 8am.

Shoe Talk
I could swear that I created this blog, just so I could talk about running shoes.  Ever since the Brooks Adrenaline stopped working for me, I have been open to trying different brands.  But, I keep circling back to ASICS and Brooks.

Earlier this year I purchased a pair of ASICS Gel KAYANOS 21's,
and for the first two weeks these shoes felt weird, They felt very springy, bulky, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be happy with them.  Well after running in them for about three months.  I am beyond pleased with this shoe! It cradles my foot (my heels are narrow) and it feels secure. I can also run tempo pace miles in this shoe and it doesn't feel heavy.   It even still feels like a brand new shoe three months later.   This shoe is a keeper.
The only downside to the ASICS Gel Kayano 21 is that it is a really expensive shoe.

I also purchased a pair of Brooks Ravenna 4's earlier this year as well.
 This shoe is much softer than the Kayano, and it is a good shoe, but I can tell that my foot pronates a bit more when I wear theses shoes. The soles of the shoe are much softer too.  I feel like this is a shoe that I could wear out really quickly once marathon training begins.  I like this shoe for shorter runs, and for the gym.

 I wanted to see what my other options were.

I headed to my local running store and I asked to have my gait looked at.  The folks at The Village Runner were really helpful.  Right way they told me that my arches are collapsing.... A few years ago I had one neutral foot, and one foot that pronates. Now I have two feet that pronate, and I need way more support than what I was running in before... Last year I had the opposite problem.  I was doing speed work in my regular running shoes, and that caused an injury.  Now I need more support. Go figure....
But, getting back to the shoes.  I wanted to try a different brand.  I tried on a pair of Nike's and I fell in love pretty fast.
This is the Nike Zoom Structure 18.  I tried it on and at first it felt really stiff, but then I took a short run in them, and I loved the way they felt.  I'm hoping this will become my other go to shoe besides the ASICS Gel-Kayano 21.  I put a deposit down on the shoes. I'm hoping to pick them up on Friday, as my birthday gift for myself.

I realise that I also need to find an alternative to ballet flats for work.  I wear flats all of the time, I used to love high heels. But, they just aren't practical with all of the kid hauling I have to do.  My arches are in need of a more supportive work shoe.  I'm such a cheapskate when it comes to purchasing shoes, that aren't running shoes.

Hip Issue Mystery Solved?
For the past few months I have noticed that my right hip, is much stronger than my left hip.  I thought that because I had been doing speed work on the track, and because speed work would usually aggravate my hip, but normal running didn't.  I thought that speed work had something to do with my hip problem.

  I have been running with the same form, for years, and this problem is not going to fix itself.  That was another reason why I wanted to get fitted for new shoes.

Well over the weekend I noticed my hip twinge,  and it happened when I wasn't even running.  I was carrying my daughter on my hip... Kind of like this.
For this picture I actually moved my daughter over to the left side, but the majority of the time I'm carrying her on my right hip.  She's two years old now, and she walks a lot more. But, there is still plenty of hip carrying a 25lb toddler.  NO WONDER MY RIGHT HIP IS STRONGER THAN the other leg......I have been unintentionally strength training the right side of my body without even realizing it!!! Are you freaking kidding me?!!!

To remedy this problem, I am doing a lot more strength training on my lower body. Exercises such as: single leg split squats, single leg lunges, and side Sumo Squats.  

I will also try to switch it up when I'm carrying my little kettle bell.  I was also carrying my son a lot on that hip as well, so I have about 4 years of damage to undo...

Training Updates
I had a few good workouts last week.  I also got to run a little bit of trail over the weekend. too.

Monday 3/23-  A quick three mile run before work.  I have a feeling, I'm going to be working out in the mornings more often now that the temps are heating up.

Tuesday 3/24-I went to the office gym before work, and did some circuit training.  I did the following exercises :flat bench bench press, single one arm rows, triceps dips on a flat bench, sit ups, lat pull downs, and some single leg lunges.

Wednesday 3/25- I ran a virtual 5k. #LVKICKOFFNIGHT  I did this as a progression tempo run on my lunch break last week, to kickoff my training for the RNRLV marathon, and to get a free shirt.  In reality I'm not going to really focus on the marathon, until at least June.

Progression 5k Data:

Thursday 3/26-  I ran a 4 mile loop on my lunch break, and then I did  a little bit of strength training.
I did  the following exercises: wide grip lat pull downs, Roman chair leg lifts, push ups, and some single leg split squats.

Friday 3/27- Rest day, and that's when I went shoe shopping.

Saturday 3/28- Another Rest Day.

 Sunday 3/29  I went out for an 8 mile run,  I told my husband that I would be back in an hour, and I kinda fudged the details.  I had to stop my watch twice.
The first time I stopped my watch was so that I could take pictures of the mountain, and the trail that I was running on.
I only ran a little less than a mile of trail, but it is really
starting to grow on me.

I have a thing for the mountains.

and then, the second time I stopped my watch, was because I encountered two dogs, that were running freely in their yard, without a fence to keep them in.   I just about crapped my pants here.  I stopped running, and I was hoping the two dogs wouldn't see me.  They saw me, and came charging toward me, and when they reached the parameter of their yard they stopped.  I almost wondered if they had electroshock collars on.  But, I wasn't going to get any closer to them.  I got really lucky that a neighbor was outside gardening.  She was able to distract the dogs for me, and then I was on my way.  I ran the last two miles quickly because they were downhill, and I knew that I was going over an hour on my time limit.

Well that's all I've got for now.

Thanks for reading :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

That Time I Tried to Summit Frenchmans Mountain

Holy Mole'! I ended up with one of the biggest adrenaline rushes of my life the other day, and it was all on a whim.  I set off on a 4 mile hike,  Two miles up, and two miles back down. It turns out I only made it about 1.3 miles up before I had to turn back around.

My apologies in advance for this being one of those rambling posts, I hope I remember all of the little details.
I will conquer you someday!!!

Before the Hike
Last week I took Friday off from work, as a personal/catch up day.  I dropped my kids off at daycare, and then I was heading over to the Pittman Wash Trail for a run.  I was talking to my run, BFF on the phone, and I told her "Debi, in a perfect world I would be headed over to Red Rock to run the loop, but I have to go home and clean the house"....

My husband and I share household chores pretty evenly. If anything he does the majority of the housework... He's amazing.  However, there are certain chores that he hates doing and that we can't do while the kids are home.  My favorite kind of chores involve ripping the closets apart to get rid of old toys and old clothes.  I can't throw away old junk without the kids wanting to save all the broken crayons and baby toys they don't play with anymore.  So about twice a year- I take a personal day to blitz the closets...

But getting back to running.... Red Rock Canyon Recreation Center gets all of the glory out here in the Las Vegas Valley-  I used to love to run the outer paved loop, and it is one hell of a workout.  But, I was really pressed for time.

I have lived in the Las Vegas Valley for over ten years, and almost four years ago I purchased a home near Sunrise/Frenchmans Mountain.  I see this mountain everyday, and it never stops being beautiful.

View from the neighborhood

View from across the street from my home on a rainy day.

I just discovered last year, that there is a hiking trail that goes all the way up to the top of Sunrise & Frenchman Mountains,  Here's a picture I borrowed from Bird & Hike to show you the two mountains.

In January the LVTC was hosting a 2 mile run up Frenchmans Mountain, but it didn't fit around my family time schedule so I didn't go to that event.  I was really intrigued because this is so close to where I live.

About two weekends ago,  my husband and I took the kids for a drive to check out Lake Mead.  There are several ways to get to Lake Mead, and we just discovered that the road behind Sunrise Mountain leads to Lake Mead, and that's where the trail head to Frenchmans Mountain begins...  During the drive  we noticed hikers along the trail.

The Hike  (Some of the pictures in this portion of the post are not my own)

After I got off the phone with my friend, I  decided to scrap doing a longish run along the Pitman Wash, and I wanted to see if I could make it up Frenchman's Mountain.  I assumed that it would be a tough hike, but I thought for sure that I would make it to the top.  Before I headed out to the trail head I stopped at a quicky mart for snacks (peanut butter pretzels & peach gummy candy) and a bottle of water.

This begining of the trail doesn't look so tough.

I parked my car at the trail head. Then I ate a handful of pretzels, stuffed some candy in my waist pack,  drank about half of my water and then I got started.  I also brought my Garmin with me for shits and giggles.  I knew this wouldn't be a fast run, but I was hoping to get an elevation profile for this event.

I made it up the first section of the trail and then I was no longer running.  I was walking up a steep section of trail, and I was barley half a mile into this hike.

I saw two women coming back down a steep rocky section of the trail.  I felt relief, to see other people climbing down,  I stopped them and asked them how far did I have to go.  They told me I had two options; the first summit, or the second one at the top.  At this time I also felt like a total n00b in my running shoes and hot pink shorts.  Hiking shoes and longer pants would have been a smart idea.

I kept on plugging along.   Did I mention that I have a fear of heights?  I don't mind being up in the air if I'm in a highrise building or with secure footing underneath me, but this was unreal!!!  I told myself that I would look at the ground when I reached the top.  I was also begining to wonder "how and the hell am I going to get down?"

I'm getting tired pretty fast.  At one point I leaned forward to rest, and I began to slide back down the trail.  I needed to keep moving forward if I was going to make it up the summit.  When I had a chance I snapped this picture.

I got to the first summit, or false summit as it's called.   I decided right then and there that I was done.  I really wanted to take a picture, but technology kept telling me to "screw off";  each time  I tried to take a picture of the false summit with my phone, my phone would freeze up and shut off on me.  Fortunately I found this really nice picture online
I borrowed this photo from Everytrail.com 

This picture is so misleading, Keep heading forward and this trail rockets down several hundred feet before the final assent to the real summit.  I had been climbing for close to 40 minutes,  I didn't have any water with me, and my legs were done.  I decided to throw in the towel and head back to my car.
This is where the real fun began.....

I thought that I would be able to run/walk slowly down the trail- But, I was sadly mistaken, I really had to ride this puppy down slowly and carefully.  I did my best to lean backward so that all of my body weight was in my butt/backside.  I really regretted wearing my running shoes.    I was really lucky I only fell once, and it was on my butt with my hands bracing me.

It's moments like this where I truly feel alive.  It was a dangerous and scary hike,  I'm glad I didn't get hurt.

Here's the data- I'm so mad that my Garmin didn't capture the elevation profile..  I think I climbed around 1200-1500 feet.

I'm hoping to attempt this hike again at a later date.  I definitely want to go back with my husband, and a better camera to capture the views.

As always thank you for reading- If you made it this far today- :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

I Forgot My Shoes, and Baked Bread

Today is an unplanned rest day for me.  I have plenty of running gear in my desk drawer, but I forgot to grab a pair of shoes on the way out the door this morning. Hmph...  I was really looking forward to running today,  It's a cloudy day and the temps are only going to hit the low 70's today.  Next week I'm staring straight faced into the mid to high 80's.   We don't get much snow in the winter  out here, but, on the flip side our summers in the Las Vegas Valley are pretty brutal.

Training updates, well sort of

This past weekend I also took the whole weekend off from running.   I ended up pulling weeds on Saturday, and that was a pretty good workout.  I actually really enjoy pulling weeds. I'm not the best housekeeper in the world, and pulling weeds is one of the chores where I can just zone out.  I enjoy the smell of the dirt too.

On Sunday I made my first batch of home made bolillo rolls.  A bolillo is the Mexican version of the crusty French baguette.   I started baking bread last year, and it has become a stress reliever.   I also enjoy eating the results.

I think I could have worked the dough a little bit more on
these.  They were not as light and fluffy as I had hoped.

On Monday I made a loaf of sandwich bread, but I'm a bad blogger and I didn't take any pictures,   The first loaf came out great.   Then later on in the week- I attempted to make the same loaf again, and my yeast didn't set properly and I ended up baking a brick in the oven :(.

*Now for the running updates*

Monday 3/16-  Just a little shy of 8 miles.  The weather was warm, and I ran a flat loop around a busy congested area.  The air quality was terrible.  My allergies are bugging me, but its too early in the year for full time treadmill running.

Tuesday 3/17- 3 mile run on the treadmill, with some circuit training at my workplace gym.  The gym was crowded.  I did mostly body weight exercises; Planks, push ups, body weight squats, crunches.

Wednesday 3/18-  I wrote the beginning of this blog post on Wednesday- Man the weather was nice that day too!

Thursday-3/19  5 miles with some tempo pace thrown in.I actually drove a few miles away from my work-  Sometimes running at lunchtime can be a real pain in the ass.  Everyone is in a hurry to leave the parking lot, and the surrounding roads are congested.  I usually have to run 2 miles of "ugly" (business parks & industrial areas) before I find a nice stretch of road.  I ran the first 3 miles up the hill, and then I was treated to two miles of downhill fun.  Here's the data and elevation profile.

Friday 3/20-  I'm going to head over to the gym, after work today.  I'm hoping to do a short run, and some weight training.   

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hello March, New Shoes, Are we having fun yet?

I'm actually looking forward to the time change this weekend.  I'm not looking forward to losing an extra hour of sleep.  What I'm looking forward to is more daylight hours and warmer weather.   I'm happy to report that my hips, groin, and wrist are feeling better.

In my last post I sounded pretty down about running.  At the end of last year, I was ready for a faster 2015.  I was going to try to get faster at shorter distance events, and by doing so I started to put unneeded pressure on myself.

I think my fragile running ego was really bruised when, I didn't run a good marathon to close out the year...  I have also realized that you can't run a marathon, and not expect it to catch up with you later.

I have decided to take the first half of this year easy....  I'm still running, but I'm not going to follow a training program at all until we get to the fall.   I will probably sign up for a few low key LVTC events, and I might race a half marathon in June or September ( I haven't decided which race yet).  But, I don't want to train aggressively all through the spring/summer and then wonder why my legs feel like shit when I'm in the thick of marathon training....

I have only one goal race this year.   I hate to put all of my eggs in one basket, but I really want this year to be about the marathon.  Rock n Roll Las Vegas is going to be the one where I try to reach for the stars and hopefully PR.   In order to do that I want to add more mileage to that training cycle.  I will need to be healthy and strong going into Summer/Fall training....

So for the time being, I'm just running.....  I'm taking plenty of days off in between my runs...  For instance.  For the last three weekends in a row.  I have taken the whole weekend off!!! Crazy, huh?  My husband and kids are really enjoying the extra time with me on Sunday Mornings.

I've also been leaving the Garmin at home.

New Shoes
I was hesitant to write about these shoes.  I purchased these beauties for $40.00 (I had a coupon) at 6pm.com.  

The first time I went for a run in these shoes, is when I fell... So I almost threw them in the trash....  But, after doing a few more runs in them, they feel great.  IMO they are very similar to the Brooks Adrenaline- Except they don't have as many stability features, and the heel to toe drop is a little lower.  I think these are great shoes for runs of 10 miles and under, and for tempo pace workouts.

Are we having fun yet? & This weeks workouts....

I think this blog has been helpful for me to get back on track after having children, and for rambling about running without bothering my Facebook friends.

I would get so excited about sharing my training and progress with you guys.  It also makes for easy blog content-  I was worried that if I'm not training for anything, then what am I going to write about?
 I'm going to try to include more details from my regular runs, and hopefully my sparkling personality will shine through.

 Monday 3/2 -I had a great run, I ran somewhere between 6 and 7 miles. I ran the first 3ish miles uphill and into the wind, and on the way back I was treated to the opposite. I felt giddy and happy on the way back.

Tuesday 3/3 - A little over two miles on the treadmill, with some circuit training at my workplace gym.

Wednesday 3/4 -8 miles on the Pittman Wash Trail.  Instead of an hour lunch break, I took an hour and 15 minute break...  I haven't run on this trail in awhile and it was nice change of scenery.

Thursday 3/5 - A little over two miles on the treadmill, and circuit training.

Friday 3/6- I'm heading out to the Pittman Wash Trail again this afternoon.     Not sure how far I will go yet...

As always thank you for reading.