Weekly training log…

No pictures or anything this week. I’m too tired, it’s been a busy one!

Saturday: 6 on the treadmill with my little partner. 8 more outside solo. 14 miles

Sunday: really nice Walnut Creek run. Super green and pretty I’m really starting to enjoy my regular meet up with running buddies there. Did yoga core in the evening. I hate it but managed to get it done. 7.3 miles

Monday: took advantage of the extra day off and ran outside! Have I mentioned I’ve started doing strides at the end of runs? It’s working. I’m getting a teeny bit quicker. 7 miles

Tuesday: I realized I have Starz for my iPad. I didn’t even know we had the channel, just found out. The Armstrong Lie is on it, and I’ve been dying to see it. So guess what I watched on my treadmill run? Went to yoga that night. Pretty good class. 6 miles.

Wednesday: more treadmill, but I didn’t mind because I wanted to finish The Armstrong Lie. Pretty good documentary. 7 miles and the whole room ends up smelling sweaty. Ick. Huge breakthrough: our completely bare windows finally got shades. After more than a year of the neighbors having no choice but to watch me on the treadmill, we now have something on our windows! Yoga core in the evening. 7 miles

Thursday: I had to leave for work about 5am. So I got up at 3am to run…..went outside to prevent waking anyone up. I couldn’t decide if 3am is still considered night. I’m tired. We also had baseball tonight. It was a long day. 6.2 miles

Friday: I have to leave for work about 5:30, so I might walk a little to help me wake up, but it may just have to be a true off day.

Looking forward to the weekend…..

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I can only hope for the persistence of a squirrel…

 

From the Walnut Creek trail race.  Yikes, are my legs really that big?
From the Walnut Creek trail race. Yikes, are my legs really that big?  I look like Frankenstein.

The 3 day weekend is coming to a close.  I had a few goals:  1.  Don’t run myself into the ground where I fall in bed into a heap every night.  (fail).  2.  Try a new pub.  We tried Hi Hat Public house.  While in a part of town that makes me cringe due to the hipness factor, the people were nice, the food and beer were very good.   Success!  3.  Run some hills.  I wanted to do my own little mini training camp.  Saturday I started on the treadmill, then hit the roads for 14 total.  No real hills.  Sunday I was in heaven at Walnut Creek, as it was so green after some recent rain it was like the pacific northwest.  Small hills accomplished.  Today was a semi-fail.  I was woken up waaaay to early, and I felt pretty worn down and I struggled through an easy neighborhood run.  So much for training camp.

But we kicked off our endless summer swimming.  The water is still pretty cold, but we swam Saturday and Sunday.  Sunday I wore Jasper out so good, he went to his room at 6:20 and fell asleep in the middle of dinner time.  Hence today’s 4:20 wake up.  I wore myself out pretty good too, as the 4:20 wake up hurt.  Today it rained all day, and was sorta a bummer.  I took Jaspy to the Children’s Museum, which he loves, but is always painfully overcrowded.  I came home and fell into another heap.  But I have another lasagna in the oven right now, so all is not lost.   And right now I am watching a squirrel desperately try and get into our bird feeder.  His persistence is impressive.  The image of him dangling by  one leg off the tree with the rest of his body digging at the bird feeder would make a fine inspirational running poster with some sort of famous runner’s quote about persistence, determination or something like that.

Anyhow, it’s a crazy week.  I’ve got two days with pre 4am wake ups for work plus all our usual appointments and one last baseball game.  I figured out this weekend, it’s not the work that gets me down so much Monday- Friday, as the constant hamster wheel feeling and the endless driving.  Yeah, I’m totally being a Negative Nancy here, but after three days of no grind, I don’t miss it!

Finally, I very much enjoyed this Trail Runner podcast on Friday.  I couldn’t make it through my work day without so many great running podcasts.   I don’t always love trail runner nation, but this is a good one with Ann Trason.  Enjoy!

Oh, and marathon training kick off is getting closer and closer.  CANNOT WAIT!!!

Introducing another boring training diary :)

Ther real runner in the family...
Ther real runner in the family…

Yay, the weekend is upon us.  I decided to take Monday off and make it a 3 day weekend.  We all need those every now and then.    I’m battling a little cold, so my fingers are crossed I remain illness free all weekend. 

I’m going to try a new blogging format.  I generally don’t have much interesting running stuff to talk about since I don’t do a lot of races and trail runs anymore.  So I’m going to turn my blog into a little virtual training diary.  I’ll try it at least….it may get so boring and pitiful I’ll have to stop, but it’s my blog, so I can do what I want!  Oh, and my weeks will be Saturday-Friday.  Just because Friday at lunchtime is a good time to blog and Saturday and Sunday evenings are not.  So here goes:

Saturday:  I already mentioned this was a great run with a chunk on the treadmill, a chunk outside in the hills.  13.5 miles

Sunday:  Walnut creek heaven with friends.  6.6 miles

Monday:  Treadmill while finishing up Spirit of the Marathon II and some more Breaking Bad.  6 miles, yoga core in evening.

Tuesday:  More treadmill, more Breaking Bad.  What will I do when I finish it?  My sidekick got up at 3:30, which means I went to work having also gotten up at 3:30 and did my run ridculously early. 6 miles

Wednesday:  My little sidekick slept until 6:30.  HEAVEN.  I ran outside in the ‘hood for 7 lovely miles, and had a cup of coffee before he got up.  That night I went to yoga at the Y and was bummed it was a Silver Sneakers class (geared towards those preferring a slower, gentler pace).  Still went though since I worked hard to get out of the house.  7 miles, plus yoga for seniors.

Thursday:  Another outdoor run, after getting up with Jaspy at 2:45.  Got him to sleep again at 400, and took a nap until 430 and then got up.  Torture.  Run was slow as a result, but happy to be out.   Baseball night for Jasp means a super hectic day on little sleep and I notice my throat is very sore.   Meh.  6.2 miles  

Friday:  Feeling sick so slept in until 5:30.  Walked on the treadmill for a couple miles with my sidekick who woke up at 5:30, which is better than 2:45.  Yoga core ready in DVD player for tonight…  2 miles

And now back to work.  My  goals this weekend are get in some hills and try an a new brew pub.  Aim high, I tell ya…..

 

The art of running solo…

I ended up having two really good runs this weekend.  I went to bed Friday night assuming Jasper would keep up his trend of waking before 5am….and I was correct, a lovely 4:20 wake up.    But I was prepared this time and splurged on Spirit of the Marathon II.  A $12.99 itunes purchase.  I LOVED this movie, so I figure I will watch it more than once.  I spent 6 miles on the ‘mill watching my movie with my little sidekick on the couch and at about 6:30, I hoped off, put on a dry shirt, since the treadmill makes me sweat buckets, and woke up Mike to take over the little early waker.  Then I hit the hills that are on the other side of the highway from my house for about 13 and a half miles total.    This is not a bad way to do a run at all.  The treadmill miles seem to cancel out in my head, and I forget them, so the other miles seem easy.    This brings me to today’s topic:

Surviving a buddy-less run.

In a perfect world, I would have a running buddy in my neighborhood that I could run to a designated meeting place.  We’d be the same pace and be training for the event, so our distances would match as well.  I don’t have this.  I have a core group of running friends, but I am the only one living much further north than the rest of them.  This makes it impossible for me to meet up with them M-F.   Weekends can be tricky too with kid activities and kid schedules that aren’t necessarily conducive  to driving across town to meet people.  So I run alone…a lot.  Here’s what works for me:

I try to map out my route the night before.  I find if I wing it when I’m on my own, I’m tempted to cut out distance.  For shorter, mid week runs, I have an arsenal of 6-7 mile routes and those I’ll just decide at the last minute when I get up.  If I am on the treadmill, I try to have a bunch of stuff on standby to watch on the ipad so I’m ready to roll.  There are some advantages to going solo.  Route, pace, start time and bathroom stops aren’t subject to approval.  I’ll do exactly what I think needs to be done, and I’m not stressing about racing out the door to meet someone.  My week  is full of situations where I’m racing the clock to be somewhere on time.  It’s nice sometimes to not have more scheduling on a weekend.

As far as mind games to get through a long time solo, I’m still working on those.  Loops help me, because I won’t get overwhelmed by miles, I just think 3 loops, or 4 loops, or whatever.  If I find myself drifting into negative thoughts, I always try to come back to reminding myself I am doing something I love to do , and am very fortunate to do it.  For a few really long solo runs I’ve done, I’ve succumbed to an a podcast on my phone while I run, as long as it’s light out and I’m aware of traffic.

On the other hand, Sunday, I met a couple friends at Walnut Creek and it was heavenly.  The miles flew by as we chatted.  The fact I run alone so much, makes meeting friends a big treat to look forward to, and those miles are all the easier.

Also…virtual running buddies are fun.  My friend Steve and I did this when we ran the Tulsa marathon.  We’d text each other on Fridays before our long runs and then Saturday after we’d finished.  He moved back here, but we still sorta do this if we aren’t able to meet up for a Saturday long run.  It’s not the same as a partner to do the whole run with, but it helps, and makes things a little less lonely.   I am looking forward to having Stephanie as a virtual partner for the KC marathon!

So that’s about all I have in my bag of tricks.  A solo run is nice from time to time, but it doesn’t mean I’m not keeping my eyes open for another 5am regular in my ‘hood who looks like they want a partner.

Lasagnas, kites, and many miles….

One small victory...lasanga.  AKA leftovers for a couple nights.
One small victory…lasagna. AKA leftovers for a couple nights.

It’s all about the small victories and the little things, right?   A pretty big victory was cooking a mid week spinach lasagna, and having real food on baseball night.  Kids sports right after work ensure that lots of meals at Chipoltle are consumed.   So having real food for a couple nights was awesome!   And baseball is just wonderful.  We only have one game left and Jasper has come around nicely to listening to the coach and having fun with it.  Another victory was a successful kite flying session.  We’ve morphed into partial daycare on our mid week appointment day.  Jasp was staying home with me, and seeing as how he’s not at his best running errands, I never got a thing done, and was trying to cram things into other times that didn’t really have time…you know how it is.  The last few weeks he goes to school for a couple hours while I run around like a maniac, then I pick him up for fun time.  And yes, insert major mom guilt that I take him to school at a time when I am off work, but my failure to get anything at the grocery store except goldfish crackers and bananas had hit its limit.  This week’s fun activity was fro-yo and kite flying…and it was awesome.  The wind was just the right amount for the kite.  And, I made it to real yoga class!  Nevermind that I was super sore for two days, but I made it!

Running on the other hand was a mixed bag.  My legs are still feeling great…which is good.  But sleep was bad, I sturggled a little on the treadmill, and I think I’m just ready for the weekend and a little time outside.  There is a simple law of running physics too…you never feel like you did as much as you would like to.  At least that’s how it is for me.  So I’m looking forward to a little more quality running this weekend.  And after feeling like a major crank after this morning’s treadmill session, I managed an attitude adjustment and decided spurging on some real itunes rentals is justifiable when you spend 30 miles a week running in place.  So next week is looking much better…..

My lasagna was so good I will be hard pressed to make something this week that is equally tasty and produces food for just a many nights…we all need a challenge, don’t we?  Onward to the weekend!

Treadmilling and chocolate tarts…..

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I seem to have lots of photos of my angel eating junk food…..hmmm, bad mommy!

I’ve recently been exchanging emails with a friend who moved away and is doing her first marathon this summer. She and I really started chatting and hanging out right before she moved which is kinda a bummer because I suspect if she was still here we’d be running partners. I’m so impressed with her right now….single mom of two doing amazing training runs. Me with my one kid, husband, and treadmill….yeah, I’m not worthy. I started thinking this evening about how inspired I am by my mom running friends. I am always so much more inspired by regular people than professional athletes….well, except for maybe Meb…..I heart Meb. I need the inspiration though…..the weather has been beautiful, but I’ve been treadmilling… A lot. Jasper is dead set on waking up between 4:30 and 5:00. Before you say put him to bed later, he already goes to bed close to 9:00. That’s not a lot of hours for me to find time to run, unless I officially give up sleeping all together. I’ve actually considered it, but it’s probably not the best way to be productive at work. So I’m thankful for the treadmill. And Breaking Bad. And I’m worried about what I’ll do when I finish it. I need another show to totally suck me in for at least 7 miles.

I’ve been working away at my leg exercises still. Jasper has learned them all and gets the roller and therapy band on his own and will doing exercises. I guess he will have some very strong hamstrings.

Finally, have you tried Hail Merry desserts? My friend, Kitty, gave be a big package of their mini chocolate tarts. OMG, they are the best thing I’ve ever had. Then she had to go and tell me they are available at Costco. Guess where I’m going today?

Ok, the weekend is officially on the horizon now….yay!!!

Farewell pink tape…

Yay for warm summer weather!
Yay for warm summer weather!

I have said good-bye to my pink tape.  After 3 Airrosti sessions, I am 100% healed.  I’m still keeping up my exercises, but it feels great to have my full range of motion back.  I didn’t realize how limited I was and how much it was bothering me until it was fixed.  I’m very satisfied and recommend this to any one plagued with a running injury.  My three visits occured within a week, so it’s been a quick adjustment to go from achy hamstring for 4 months to completely functional hamstring.  I’m pretty amazed and thankful it worked!

All the focus on Operation Hamstring didn’t really allow me to develop post race blues after the trail race.  For all the anxiety and worry the race caused me, once I did it,  I was already planning on next year!  I want to train properly and aim for a better time.  In the meantime…I am in a down time phase.  I confess that I struggle with dropping my long runs down.  I like feeling like I could go out and bust out 20 miles without too much suffering.  It’s so hard to get to that point that once I’m there I don’t want to go back to rebuilding.  I think it’s the smart thing to do though.   Sometimes I look back at things I’ve done and can’t believe I actually pulled them off.  50 miler training morphing right into 100K training, going right into fall marathon training….it was one thing after another.  I loved every minute of it, and still do, but I don’t want anymore hamstring issues, and want to get to Kansas City in October ready to run and to have a great time.

So low key running makes for slightly uninteresting blogging.  Lots on the horizon though….some trip planning, home projects, and all the things that come with summer time (yay for swimming!).  Right now I am looking forward to running about a half marathon distance tomorrow and then spending some time at Walnut creek Sunday, trying to soak up the last of perfect weather before it starts getting toasty.  And, I will be doing it with happy hamstrings!

Pink tape rules…

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Yes, those are my pajamas….because just having a picture with pink tape down your leg isn’t embarrassing enough….

I’m writing from Mansfield, TX where we are for the weekend with family. It’s been a busy week as I’ve tried to do everything that I’d normally do over the weekend (fail). But the best thing about this week is I’m comfy after a week of airrosti treatment!

Background:
Around January I noticed a “tight” sensation in my left upper hamstring. Running was fine once I warmed it up . Sitting was not. Car rides, meetings etc caused sciatica like pain deep in my leg and butt. Since running was fine, I didn’t stress it, stretched, foam rolled etc, all with temporary relief. I ran the marathon, then after that, the pain started in both legs. I was still fine to run once a warmed my legs up a bit, but started getting massage every other week, and never got worse, but never got better. Last week I decided to freak out about it. It shouldn’t hurt to drive home from work. I went to my usual massage and my wonderful friend I see for massage suggested I try airrosti.

What is it?
Well you can do the googles. I thought it was something fancy and Italian, but it’s an acronym for something. My understanding is it’s just work on your fascia to break up adhesions and scar tissue. The cool thing is they take insurance, so since they take mine it was affordable. The claim is they fix a problem in 1-3 visits. My massage friend said “try it, it won’t make you worse.”

What happened:
I’ve gone twice now. First visit the doctor (it’s done by chiropractors) assessed my strength (or lack of) and range of motion. Then she went to work. She explained she was going to release this big band of fascia that ran from my heel to my butt. It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I did bruise a little but not bad. She retested my range of motion after and I was instantly about 75% improved. Then she showed me some ways to roll it out at home with the foam roller ( much more effectively than I’d been doing) and using a lacrosse ball to work out the tight spots and a few exercises with a band. Then she taped both legs with that pink kinesio tape that you see now at every running expo. (Insert your giggles here). I went home with instructions to do my exercises twice a day, ice, and keep running ( I liked that part!)

The outcome (so far):
After one visit my right leg is 100% cured. My left is about 75% better. I have 1-2 more appts remaining. I’m completely sold. It makes sense. I’ve driven all week pain free and the nerve pain in both legs is completely gone after one treatment. Had I gone to my regular dr, I would have gotten the usual treatment: an X-ray I didn’t need and ibuprofen. The tape is only on one leg now and stays a couple days. It actually feels very good….like a compression stocking for my whole leg even though it’s just a strip of pink tape. …..I got to choose my color. I always saw people with the tape and didn’t think it did a thing and maybe it doesn’t, but it feels good. Today’s session definitely left me more sore than the first one, but the tight sensation is gone and I have drastically improved how much I can bend it.

Do I sound like an informerial?
Yeah, I do, but I am seriously impressed. Something that bothered me for months almost completely resolved in just one visit. Unfortunately, Airrosti is only done in Texas and a couple other states. It was developed here, and we are super lucky to have it. Yep, Willie Nelson, Tex-Mex and Airrosti, we’ve got it made here. I hope to not need it again, but if I ever have something flare up like this again, I won’t hesitate to go back. Oh, and every runner should have a foam roller and lacrosse ball. Now I just need to figure out how to roll around on a lacrosse ball this weekend and somehow make it appear normal…