Thursday, August 29, 2013

8/28 and 8/29 - Speed it up, shake it out

8/28: 3.1 miles: 31:50: 10:14 pace
8/29: 4 miles: 45:32: 11:23 pace

I had a frustrating work day on Wednesday. I'm a trade journalist, which can sometimes mean you're a industry hack, but that's not me. I aim to write interesting stories about the different technologies out there to inform my readers so they can make educated decisions.

What has become more of a trend recently is that marketers and PR folks don't want to provide an executive to chat but would rather provide email responses. These responses typically are so water downed and sanitized that they're not worth writing about.

So on Wednesday I finally get some headway on a story I've been following for nine months and they don't want to give me an exec but email responses. I was more than a little annoyed. That coupled with a couple of other minor things put me in a dismal mood.

What does this have to do with running? Well I went to the Evanston Running Club speed workout that evening and it helped me forget about my bad day. In the past I may have popped a couple of beers and dwelled but running was a far healthier way to deal with my stress.

As for the speed workout, it was 1600 meter repeats, that's four laps around the high school track. I knew this was the workout going in and was not looking forward to it but it went well. It was hard -- don't get me wrong -- but it was a good workout and I don't feel like I did that bad and I actually passed a couple of people.

Thursday morning I did a four mile shakeout run just to get the legs moving again. The legs were a bit heavy and tight but not too bad.

Friday I rest and 18 on Saturday. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8/27 run -- Any heat/humidity jokes left?

10 miles: 1:58:14:11:48 pace

Summer has decided to return to the midwest this week as it was 80 degrees with 90% humidity when we started at 5:15 am making for a steamy and slow 10 miles. This summer has been perfect for running with low temps the vast majority of the season and I really shouldn't complain but I am still ready for some cooler weather. A nice long run in 50 degree weather sounds glorious to me right now.

Boot camp in the morning and mile repeats for speed work tomorrow. That should be interesting. Four miles shakeout run on Thursday and then 18-miles Saturday. I'm going back to Skokie Lagoons and the light hills with a couple of ERC folks.

Random: With the run this morning I passed 100 miles for the month, first time I've ever done that. If all goes as planned I'll be around 125 miles for the month.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thoughts on fueling, random notes

Since I've been having issues after hitting about 13 miles a couple of runner friends seem to think I may not be fueling enough during these long runs. I typically take a Cliff Turbo Shot gel before any run longer than six miles and for any run 10 miles or more I will take some Cliff Shot Blocks.

This past week's 16-miler was the first time I went through a whole package of the shot blocks. Took three a mile five and the other three at miles 12. I was probably right on with where I took it at first but probably should have fueled earlier than mile 12.

Going to try every hour on the hour from now on, have to be more consistent. I'm also debating going with a 50/50 water Gatorade mix in the hydration belt. especially this week, it's supposed to get warm and muggy again which is making me not look forward to my 10-miler tomorrow.

Random notes:

  • I need to find some new anti-chaffing stuff. The Body Glide is fine for five or six miles but doesn't work for me much past that. Since I have psoriasis some parts of my body are more prone to chaffing than others. One the plus side I don't feel it until I'm in the shower, on the downside I look like a stabbing victim when I'm done with my run. 
  • On the too much information front: Nipple bandaids are happening. Part of this is psoriasis as well but unlike the other parts of my body these hurt when I'm running so precautions have to be taken. 
  • Bought a long-sleeved base layer. Have a feeling I'm going to need it at some point and am just hoping it doesn't make me look like 10 pound of crap in a five pound bag. That one may also fall into the TMI category. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/24 run - Must get stronger

16.1 miles: 3:10:43: 11:50 pace

Even though this run was slower than last week's 15-miler it felt better. I'm also happy to not feel real sore today.

On both of these long runs I start to feel the fatigue around mile 13. I don't know if I can slow down much more so the training and marathon going forward are going to be interesting.

Boot camp on Monday and Wednesday this week. Ten miles on Tuesday morning, speed work Wednesday and four or five on Thursday. Eighteen mile long run on Saturday.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

8/19 runs - Catching up yet again

8/20: 8.1 miles: 1:32:35: 11:20 pace
8/22: 5.1 miles: 58.30:11:33 pace

Uninspired runs this week. I've been solo this week because my running buddies have been either under the weather or on vacation. We're also getting some actual summer weather which means humidity and warmer temps which makes it a bit tougher.

I've also been on deadline so my brain has been elsewhere, the issue should be closing Friday so I'm hoping to be able to focus for this weekend's 16-mile run. I'll be joined for seven miles on this one by my running buddy from last week.

The plan it to bump up the Tuesday runs to 10-miles starting next week though the end of September. It'll be tough but I think I can handle it. Need to make speed work a priority, I did enjoy the session a week ago but it was two-person relay this week and I had no partner and was still dealing with work.

Random, after marathon thoughts, thinking about doing the Lincolnwood 10K on Nov. 24, the Evanston Turkey Trot on Nov. 28 and the Schaumburg half marathon on Nov. 30. If nobody in the family is doing the Evanston Turkey Trot I might switch and do the Highland Park Turkey Trot which has a 10K option.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

8/17 run - A mixed bag

15 miles: 2:55:58: 11:44 pace

There are all sorts of things I could say about this run but it boils down to, could have been worst, could have been better. My pace sucked, the last two miles were not great at all but it's over, the next day and I don't feel awful.

My runs earlier in the week -- with the exception of the shakeout run Thursday -- were good. The long run is about getting the mileage in, not about the pace. I have to to keep that in mind the next couple of weeks as the mileage continues to go up.

New route for this run, an around the Skokie Lagoons in Wilmette. We starts off the Willow Road exit off the Edens. I had never been before but my training partner today had been. If it wasn't for her I would have gotten lost on the trails. Main thing is no water on the route so either bring plenty or plan to loop back to you car, but there are porta potties.

There's a bunch of different loops and all in all it was pretty good, though it's kinda of hilly, I would say light hills. This is coming from someone who lives somewhere with no hills. Pretty decent amount of people out there, bikers too, which can be annoying.

And it happened, passed 500 miles for the year.

Boot comp Monday and Wednesday this week, eight miles on Tuesday, speed work Wednesday, short run Thursday and 16 on Saturday.

Friday, August 16, 2013

8/17, 8/18 - Speed work and random notes

8/14: 4.1 miles: 40:37: 9:50 pace
8/15: 4 miles: 46.40: 11:37 pace

Deadline looms with my day job so I need to keep this short and sweet.

Did my first organized speed work last week with the Evanston Running Club. The workout was 800 meter repeats around the Evanston Township High School track. Realization: I'm slow.

The four miles shakeout run the next day was interesting, and by interesting I mean really slow.

Fifteen miles tomorrow morning around Skokie Lagoons, which will also put me over the 500 mile mark for 2013.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

8/13 run - What month is it?

7.1 miles: 1:17:23: 10:50 pace

It could have easily been late September or October when I woke up this morning, with temps in the low 60s and a brisk breeze out of the north. I'm not complaining, I would run in that everyday of the week if possible, mid-50s are even better for running. I know I was bitching back in the spring about not getting warmer temps, but this summer had been perfect for running. I'm just hoping this doesn't mean a warm October, I don't want temps anywhere near the 70s for the marathon.

Good run this morning, though the legs are now a bit heavy form the run and combination of dead lifts/squats from Monday's boot camp session. I need to work some thing out with the foam roller.

I keep thinking about the 15-miles this weekendI'm trying not to be intimidated but I am a little bit. Next week the Tuesday runs go up to eight miles. Thursday will stay the same at about four miles, which I'm actually going to do this week as well.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

8/10 run - Starting to get real

10.7 miles: 1:59:37 11:11 pace

This was my last sub-two hour run until I taper for the marathon. The run went well, even though it was a bit muggy -- WeatherBug said 67 degrees but 90% humidity when I walked out the door. 

I had trouble flipping the switch, my mind was going a million different directions during the run. I'm on deadline for work, helping plan a conference and was finishing a home improvement project yesterday, all of which were jumping through my head as I ran yesterday. 

Can't complain about the run, still breaking in new shoes, so my feet were bugging me a little bit. I did have a new/odd muscle cramp on the inside of my left knee. Had to stop for a minute and stretch it out but it went away. All in all, I'm feeling pretty good. 

Slight change to the training schedule. I'm running the Chicago Half Marathon on Sept. 8. I was supposed to running 18 that weekend so I'm moving it up a week. So the next three week long runs will be 15, 16 and then 18. This is what O'm talking about when I mean things are getting real. 

I have next weeks run mapped out and depending on how true that route is I'll use the same one the following week but add a mile. Not sure what I'm going to do for 18 yet. 

Next week I'm also stepping back my boot camp sessions to just Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday will be a seven mile run and four on Thursday. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8/8 run - Picking up the pace

3.2 miles: 34:22: 10:31 pace

Perfect weather this morning and I should have gone another mile but sometimes when running with a group you go with the flow. My last two runs have been sub-11 minute mile pace, which makes me happy and if you go back to last week's long run I was closer to 11 minutes than 12.

Ten miles Saturday, will be the last sub-two hour long run until the taper.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

8/6 run - Upping the tempo

The marathon shoes are getting
broken in.
7 miles: 1:16:02: 10:48 pace

I would not have gone this far or that fast if it wasn't for a running buddy. I originally planned to do five but she asked if I was up for seven and I decided to go along. We had a really nice pace for most of the run and I was feeling good.

My right foot started bugging me a little toward the end but I'm crediting that to the new shoes. I wore them during boot camp a handful of times but this was the first outdoor run. Overall they were good, just need to get the broken in a little bit more.

The track speed workout is looking doubtful for me tomorrow, probably do some speed work on Thursday morning.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

8/3 run: A reaffirming run

13.1 miles - 2:28:11:15 pace

After the Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago I was having some doubts. The race really took a lot out of me and I was questioning my ability to finish the marathon. A lot of people said that it was tough conditions and not to dwell but I couldn't shake the lingering doubt in the back of my mind.

In the weeks since I've had some good runs -- the sub-10 minute 4.1 miles race last Sunday -- and then my 13.1 miles training run Saturday where I cut more than 12 minutes off my half marathon time from that race. I credit the weather, it was probably around 60 when I went out and there wasn't any humidity.The real positive was that I felt like I could have kept going. My splits were also pretty decent with my last mile being the fastest.

I also feel pretty good the day after. I'm sore, my hips are tight, but my ankle, feet and knees feel good. I needed that run, it's surprising what a really good training run can do for your mental health.

But now a confession, I broke a runner's rule yesterday and ran shirtless. While I have lost a significant amount of weight I still don't have the kind of body where I should be running shirtless. I would be fine on the beach but not running. So, to anyone who saw me running along McCormick and was offended, I apologize.

The reason for bring shirtless? Chaffing. Nobody like to talk about it but bloody nipples are no joke and sadly, this wasn't the first time. Body Glide has been failing me around mile eight. I'm planning to try the special runner's band aids next.

It's a step back week training wise, will do five on Tuesday, hit speed work on Wednesday, four on Thursday and 10 next Saturday. Planning to hit boot camp Monday, Wednesday and Friday too. I'm also volunteering at the Road Runner Adventure Run this month.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July roundup

Seen while running in San Diego.
7/30: 6.6 miles: 1:14:25: 11:16
7/31: 4.1 miles: 45:19: 11:02

I've been traveling this week and while I've had time to run, I haven't had time to blog. I was in San Diego, a place I had only visited once before, and it was nice. The weather is kind of perfect, was in the 60s when I woke up and only got into the mid-70s. Though cloudy in the morning, not something I'm use to. I take my sunglasses with me at 6 am, did it on Tuesday and felt like an ass.

Running along the ocean was a nice change in scenery. Lot of runners out and about in San Diego too. Both runs were nice and uneventful. Though I've learned that I like knowing how far my route is before I head out. Not knowing where I'm turning around till I hit a mileage point can be annoying and I find myself looking down at my watch to often. Also, If I'm not familiar with a route I'm worried about running out of road,

Boot camp Friday and then 13 on Saturday, third time I'm doing the half marathon distance in a month. I'll be going it alone as well, the ERC folks I run with are out of town or sick.

As now, July totals:

93.1 miles: 17:36:54: 11:21 pace: 16,259 calories burned