Thursday, January 31, 2008

Prologue for Dirty Dog 10K

This weekend will mark the beginning of the 2008 race season for me. I am excited, but hesitant. The Dirty Dog is a trail run around Mosquito Lake that the girls did last year and couldn't resist this year.

Last year it was cold and I mean (-) temperatures with the windchill, but this year we are expected to have 25-38 degrees and sun. Last year I had trained poorly. I had bitten off more than I could chew, with too much mileage and not enough cross training and rest. I was literally a few steps away from tendonitis. This year I have managed to avoid running with my friends to stay on my own training schedule. Most of them run in the early a.m., but my schedule revolves around the night so I run after work at about 11:00 p.m. on work nights and hit the hay around 2:00 a.m. Yes, it seems weird, but it works for me. I am getting enough rest then by sleeping until 10:00 am and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, except for the really good Left Hand stout beer I had last night.

I must say that overall my training for the month of January was a success.
- Goal on bike for Jan was 24o miles for the month. I have 259 and plan on cycling today
- Finally got a HR monitor to train in z4 and stop slogging in z2.
- Running was based on frequency (# of days) not by mileage, 19/31 days for a total of 88 miles.
- Have incorporated Long runs, tempos, and hill runs
- Incorporated corework & lifting into schedule on an irregular basis.... but it's there.
- Managed to pull nearly 50% of training days as 2-a-days
- Dropped a few lbs. and firmed up the bum (BONUS)

So with that said I am prepared to enjoy a fun run with my pals. I surely am guaranteed a PR for the course too as last year the snow was so deep I spent more time trying not to fall then to run.

Overall this "TRI" thing that we all do has somehow changed for me. It is no longer about this race or that race. I am never going to be the best. I am tired of trying to compete with everyone else. This year it is about me and a healthy mind and body. I want to get better of course and I will, but now it's about enjoying the training path. The runs I do at night after work, the sweating on my carpeting downstairs from my trainer and the great butt I am getting. The races this year will just be an end result of the many hours and days of ENJOYABLE training I put in.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Buckeye 50K Aide Report

It was a cold morning and I was really bundled up as me and MT headed down to the aid station for the 50K. I even had 2 pairs of socks on. We had gabbed a box of hot chocolate for everybody in hopes to give the runners a little pep. We bounced around at the aid station for warmth and had to duck inside the MD garage for a bit here and there, but we did manage to make it back out every time a goup of our friends came by. I spent my time laughing with other aiders and filling up water bottles for runners while they tried to reload on some snacks. I saw the 3 musketeers come by at the 1/2 point around 2:30 or so and that when we snapped the pic above. After sending them back out for another 5 miles we impatiently looked for BB. We were a bit chilled and had started to worry when she hadn't come through. Finally we saw her motoring along with a tall fellow I did not recognize. She looked strong and was still smiling. They told us how the 8-mile Pine Lane loop was all hilly terrain and this 5-mile loop was going to be a welcome break. I decided right then and there to jump in and run the 5-mile loop with her. I stripped off a few layers and off we went.

It started off on the tow path, so it was pretty flat and I was getting the updates on the course and their current condition (BB and JP). They seemed in good spirits. After about a mile or so we started climbing. We switched to a walk and began hiking up stairs. I felt fine and stayed in the back just going along for moral support and trying to stay out of the way. We passed JE, AS and EH. JE had pulled a bit ahead of the other two and was on her way back to the Boston Store to refuel and marking completion of her 18th mile. We continued up to the top where we found the the aide station. Pretzels, fig newtons and kleenex were our saviors. We only hung around for about 3 minutes and then headed back. JP said his knees were buggin him and I hung with him. BB had a firecracker under her butt. She really picked it up on the way back. We hung with her and made it back to the Boston Store 3 minutes faster than on the way out. I put my jacket back on and felt a small sense of accomplishment knowing I had gotten in my run, although only 5 miles. I helped BB bandaid her foot and refuel again and snapped a pic of her and JP before sending them out to the hilly Pine Lane.

BB and JP all prepped and ready for the next 8 miles gave me a quick smile as I snapped there pic and wished them good luck and good running.

JA toughed out another 50k solo!! Her pacer was delayed by a super soft pillow and a warm bed.

AS's boyfriend Dr. B was coming by at the 13 mile mark. We tried to convince him that AS was gaining on him, but as you can see he just smiled. He ended up taking 2nd overall!!
After snapping all the above pics and getting everyone on there way it was about 4 hours in and we knew we wouldn't see anyone for at least another hour, so we headed out. We were starving. Watching your buddies run works up your appetite. We hit up Applebees and then when we got home we checked results to see everyone had finished and not only that... they had finsihed well. I can't wait to try the YUT-C 50K now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mashed Potatoes Gave Me False Hope

So after my successful treadmill experience on Wednesday night I figured maybe I could hit the great outdoors of the Cleveland suburbs for a quick 4 mile run after work the following night.

It started off with my Foreman not working until about .4 miles into the run and my face a little chilled from the windy and cold temperatures (man, I hate winter). I turned right to go up Mayfield and the wind was a little bit stronger until I turned right again on to S. Green and then it was outta control. It was blowing the snow up off the ground that had fallen earlier in the day. The roads were a little bit icy too, but thankfully I had donned my new sweet Inov-8 312 GTX shoes and was coasting along until about 2.5 miles when I started to peter out. Damn, I always get tired somewhere no matter what I do it seems. I usually blame it on my IDA now, but it just could be that I suck at coaching myself....... nah :) I knew 2 nights of hard running would be a leap. I started out good thinking the mashed pototatoes and liver I had eaten had fueled me for another great run, but I was tricked! So, I slowed my pace to keep it comfortable and tried to focus on the quiet night.

I have always been more of a night owl. I even did my long runs for my marathon training at night, and when I say at night I mean 20 mile run starts at 11:00 pm and ends around 3:00am. This night it was about 11:30, but a helluva lot colder. Brrrrr!!!

I have only found 2 positives for winter running.
1 - Winter running builds mental toughness
2 - Summer running is appreciated so much more

Anyway, I am rambling. I turned down my street and puttered in feeling refreshed and glad I had dragged my butt outside to run.

The walrus keeps telling me my training is going well and I am going to have a great season now that I am healthy and controlling my IDA and managing my weight, but I sometimes wonder if he is just giving me more false hope. What if I don't break that 8 min/mile barrier? I watch my friends break their knee caps, give birth and fight there way back to PR's. I don't even know what I am fighting sometimes. Is there just a slow virus/bacteria out there infecting my cells?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I was so hot and sweaty last night

Last night I think I had the best treadmill workout ever. I went to the Painesville Y, which is actually pretty darned fancy with the walrus and the 4 children of the corn. The boys were signed up for dodgeball and the girls were going to art. It was supposed to give me and the walrus about an hour to workout, but there was no art and the boys only had dodgeball for 45 minutes.

The plan then changed and in hindsight for the better. I rushed to the locker room to change into my running gear and hit the treadmill while the boys played dodgeball and the walrus watched the girls play in the jungle gym room. I was pumped.

Now these treadmills are fancy. They have a digital screen and you can watch tv on it, hook up an ipod and more I don't even know about. I went for the quickstart and used the up arrow to set my speed and turned on my ipod playlist. Methods of Mayhem started pumping Get Naked and I started running. I did a 10 minute warm-up and then every 2 minutes I increased my speed 2mph for about 8 minutes and then increased again 2mph every 4 minutes until I had pumped out another 12 minutes. I was running better than ever and although it was humid I wasn't going to quit. I could see it was time to go. The kids were all done. I had to cool-down though and I dropped my speed to an easy trot for 5 minutes before getting off and running to the locker room to clean up and head home.

10 warm-up at 6 mph
2 mph increases every 2 minutes up to 6.8 mph
2 mph increase every 4 minutes up to 7.4 mph
5 minute cool down at 5 mph

RESULT: The best HOT sweaty workout EVER!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Wednesday, huh?? Well, last week was a recovery week. Just miles upon miles, nothing too strenuous, but this week I need to pick up the intensity. I have thus far only had an intense lift session. No, speedwork, tempo run, intervals on the cycle nothin'. But I did have a wonderful breakthrough yesterday that has literally saved my arse.

The mileage is coming on the bike. I am getting more and more comfortable on my bike but just not quite where I need to be. My sit bones just don't like bike seats, even my expensive butterfly seat for some reason. I know you never get totally comfortable on the bike, but that is the main reason why I want to stop after each session, because my butt has had it. Yesterday, I decided to elevate my front tire a little more on my trainer with a second book and what do you know. It worked!! My sit bones held out a bit longer before becoming annoyed and I was much more comfortable. YIPEEEE!!! Score for me. So tonight me and my trusty steed will battle the evil forces of resistance on the bike.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Get up, Eat, Ride, Run .... REPEAT

I never thought I would hear or use the word training so much in my life. I think about what I need to do everyday now and wonder if I am giving myself the proper ass kicking in preparation for the 2008 season.

I am striving to ride 240 miles in the month of January. That equates to 60mpw on the bike. I hit my goal in week 1 and have 16 miles done this week. My butt is not quite as soar this week, but some of the muslces are a bit tight. The legs hurt in non-running biking ways. I am hoping it is an indicator of increase in strength to come. I have been running everyday for about 30-40 minutes this week. I am hoping this frequency will help toughen me up for long runs. It seems to be working.

I am injury free currently. No probs, just a tad tired. I am assuming the tiredness is due to increase training, a little dehydration and my IDA. I have attacked the triad by sleeping in (not a problem), increasing my H2O intake and after reading up on iron absorption am now taking it with a glass of orange juice and avoiding high intake of calcium or wheat.

The USAT challenge is still pushing me to keep on that bike of mine. We were all the way up to 13th last night when I checked. YEAH, GO CTC a.k.a. THE RED MENACE!!! Hope we can hold on and move up. I would like to see us finish in the top 10, so it is giving me an excuse to bail on swimming in the hottub at the Y this week, since I can pedal and run miles faster than swim. Is that terrible of me? I am still too competitive in my old age :)

Sunday I will probably go help with the indoor triathlon and then I am attending my first of hopefully many masters' swims at the Geauga YMCA. My form and technique need to be cleaned up even more so I can win my annual pair of running shoes from the walrus.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Polar Plungin' Into 2008

New Year's Day I awoke with of course.... A HANGOVER!!! Didn't see that one coming, haha. I rolled out of bed around 10:00am and got dressed to drive my crazy roommate and the Walrus to Huntington Beach in Bay Village. Now my roommate was thinking with a clear head when she decided to do this, but the Walrus who has always had a soft spot for her wasn't and agreed without thinking it through.

When we went outside it was frickin' cold. I put on my gloves a headband and grabbed my winter coat and waterproof shoes. I had packed extra towels, socks and fleece clothes just in case. I am getting very motherly in my 30 years. The drive from our house to 90W was the worst part. The roads were covered in snow and a bit icy. I am very cautious in my truck and the speedometer was reading 25-35 mph. It looked like we might not make it. We were lucky though and as we hit 90W the roads were clear so I gased it and ZOOOMMMM! The directions were easy and we found the place with about 5-10 minutes to spare. Even better, know one was doing a warm-up. It wasn't a race. The idea was to get in and then GET THE HELL OUT! There was a TV cameraman standing in the water about knee deep filming everyone as they prepped for the "plunge." I snapped a few pics before the foghorn went off and I watched them run in the water. There was lots of cheering and whooping from us and those in the water. I did not time the "plunge", but no more than 2 minutes later people were moving their asses back to the shore to get out of the water. I grabbed a towel and ran to meet Espeed as she was coming out of the water first. I wrapped her up in a towel and ran back to get another for my roommate. I couldn't see the Walrus. I bundled her up next and then helped her changed into warm/dry clothes. She shook a little and repeated "I can't feel my toes" a couple times before we got her socks on. The Walrus was all bundle up by the time I got to him (good boy). The wind had by then picked up and was blowing the snow everywhere. This was not a place to have an afterparty or socialize, so we packed up and said our goodbyes.

I called my parents on the way home to let them know that yes I had gone to the "plunge", but no I had been sensible and stayed on shore in the appropriate winter attire, but that the walrus and my roommate had been a few cards short of a full deck that morning. In retrospect, I was happy I had called them even though they had teased us because the very next morning we ended up with our picture on the front page of the Cleveland Plaindealer. I even made it in the very far background. What do ya know, even turtles can be famous :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008 Is Here

Like so many other blogger's latest entry... Happy New Year! I am only 2 days in and other than swearing I haven't broken any of my other resolutions.

1 No/Less swearing
2 Be more commited to working out
3 Go to church at least once a month
4 Be nice to people I would normally dismiss
5 Do not get so easily upset

I would say I am swearing less, but not at nil yet
I just put in 15 miles on my trainer and lifted
The other two, well I did not yell at anyone at work last night (hey, it's a start!)
But onto the more exciting stuff. After another successful day of training I got a new outfit and headed to Pickle Bill's with some friends for dinner. We had lots and lots of seafood. I wasn't impressed with the service and I was a little too cold throughout. It was nice to see everyone one last time in 2007. Dinner ended at about 10:00 and we all got a group pic.
After that we ran home to grab the Walrus's bag and head to the Fox N Hound to meet my bestest friend ever, her husband and some additional friends. I was so excited because the Walrus was the designated driver and I was the designated drinker. We made it just in time for midnight at about 11:30pm. I got a large Labatts, my first shot of Maker's Mark and a glass of champagne all in less than 30 minutes. The MM hurt going down. Yea, it was a smooth bourbon, but no bourbon is smooth enough for me. It just hurt my tummy. We had lots of laughs and I managed to put down a shot of Petrone, a buttery nipple, and another large beer. No way was I driving. I had caught myself a nice little buzz on January 1, 2008. We finally left a tad bit before 2:00 am to head home and pass out.
I had no trouble sleeping when I hit my bed. I did however remember to 3 Motrin before falling asleep, but when I woke up it didn't matter. I still had a hangover (uuuggghh). I took 3 more and forced myself out of bed around 10:00 am. I had a polar plunge to get to.