Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday stuff

This morning I met some people from the running club at 7am for a run. More specifically, I was running with my buddy Joanne. We did six miles. I wore the Saucony Omnis for the first time and they felt good. I will say that I was somewhat aware of my inner ankles (the problem area) after the run, but it didn't hurt and it feels much better than after I did the 7 mile run two weeks ago.

I forgot to ice after the run, because I was cold and just wanted to get into a hot shower and then I had somewhere I needed to go. Whoops. I'll do better next time.

This afternoon, David and I went to walk around at an art fair and I wore the orthotics for two hours. They're very comfortable, but by the end of the two hours my feet were feeling tired. The tiredness resolved itself after I removed the orthotics from my shoes. I definitely see why the doctor told me to build up to wearing them. It takes some getting used to.

Yesterday I registered for the ING Miami Half Marathon, which takes place on 1/30/11. I haven't ever been to Miami, and David has never been to Florida, so I'm pretty excited about it. It will be good to escape the Michigan winter for a few days! I have a couple of friends who sound interested in running the race, as well, so it will be a good time!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The orthotics are here!

Today I went to the podiatrist for another crazy electric current treatment thingy (Phoresor treatment) and it turns out my orthotics finally arrived. Yay! I have to build up to wearing them (one hour the first day, two hours the second day, etc.). Then after I can wear them all day for a week, I finally get to put them in my running shoes and run with them. I'm feeling very excited and hopeful now!

Tomorrow will be my first run in two weeks. No orthotics, but I will be wearing the Saucony Omnis so we'll see how that goes. I think all will be well. My foot feels good, and I'm currently taking prescription anti-inflammatory drugs so I shouldn't end up with any swelling. Plus I will ice after I run. I'm hoping to do 5-6 miles. It's going to feel so good to run again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I haven't run since that 7 miles I did on Saturday, because my left foot is bothering me in that inner ankle area. It's a little swollen today. I had my last Phoresor treatment today so I'm hoping it will feel better tomorrow. I'm depressed because it's not looking good for running that half marathon on Sunday. If I couldn't handle 7 miles, then 13 is out of the question.

I ordered new shoes (Saucony Omnis) that will arrive tomorrow. They have more pronation control than any of the other many pairs of running shoes that I currently own. I'm hoping that will magically make it possible to do the half on Sunday. Yeah I know, don't run a race in shoes you haven't done a long run in. It's just the dreaming side of me that thinks I'll be doing the half. The realistic side of me - the depressed side - thinks I'll be sleeping in on Sunday and feeling a little mournful.

My house is filled with stacks of running shoes. I hope I get the chance to wear them all out some day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The latest news

I went to the podiatrist on Wednesday to figure out what's going on with my feet (particularly my left foot). Turns out that I over-pronate, which causes a bone to go out of alignment and aggravate a tendon. This then causes inflammation and pain. Yeah, my left foot (inner ankle area) has been swollen for a couple of months and I was trying to ignore it.

So, the solution is to get custom orthotics. He made casts of my feet and the orthotics should arrive in a couple of weeks. Then there will be a breaking-in period. It is possible that I won't be able to get enough training in to be ready for NYC.

Twin Cities marathon is definitely off the table, though I may end up doing the 10 miler there if I can weasel my way in. (The 10 miler is closed for registration but I may be able to work something out.) If I can't get into the 10 miler, then I'll probably at least do the 10K that's the day before the marathon. I'm planning to go to Minneapolis regardless of my racing status. There's fun to be had and friends to see!

While I'm waiting for the orthotics to arrive, I need to get rid of the inflammation and pain in my foot. The doctor put me on a steroid to help reduce the swelling, and I've had a couple of Phoresor treatments. Phoresor is a device that uses low-intensity electrical current to drive medication into the swollen area. I had treatments on Wednesday and Friday and my foot feels so much better. It's nice to be free of the chronic pain and swelling. One more treatment to go, on Tuesday. And I'll be done with the steroids on Monday.

The podiatrist told me to take it easy for the next couple of weeks, while we get rid of the swelling and wait for the orthotics. I asked him if that means no running. I get the sense that he would prefer it if I don't run, but he's a runner himself so he understands I want to run. He said I can run as long as it doesn't hurt and I should ice it after running. And long runs would probably not be a good idea. He looked at me like I was psycho when I told him that today was supposed to be my 20 mile training run for Twin Cities. I assured him that I would not be running 20 miles today nor will I be running the Twin Cities marathon. :)

I did 3.25 miles on Thursday and 7.13 miles today. My feet feel pretty good. I am having some twinges in the left foot, but no new swelling so that's good. I iced after running today like a good girl. I'm hoping I'll still be able to run the Romeo2Richmond half marathon on Sunday, 9/19 but we'll see. I'm not going to do anything stupid!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I feel quitty, oh so quitty!

On Saturday, I did something I've never done before as a runner. I quit a race without finishing.

I was running the Milford Labor Day 30K with my running buddy Joanne. We were doing Galloway-style intervals (run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute) and it was working pretty well. But my feet started hurting, as they do, and then once we got to around 14 miles I just lost it. I cried, I yelled, I totally lost my shit. It was ridiculous. Joanne tried valiantly to get me back to sanity, but it wasn't to be.

I ended up calling David and asking him to come pick me up. He headed in my direction, but I ran into my brother and his wife before David arrived and they drove me back to the start/finish area. In the end, I completed 15.3 miles out of 18.6. Joanne went on to a great finish, despite my abandonment of her after I freaked out.

I will not run either marathon this fall if my feet are going to hurt like this. I have an appointment with a podiatrist tomorrow so we'll see what happens.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crim 10 Mile Race Report

Today I ran the Crim 10 Mile Race in Flint, MI. This is a big race, with 10,000 runners and walkers.

Flint is about an hour from where I live, so David and I decided to stay at a hotel last night so we wouldn't have to get up obnoxiously early. Last night was excellent. We checked into the hotel around 5:30 or so, then walked a mile to the expo to pick up my packet. There were Special Olympics races taking place downtown, which was very cool. Then we went out for dinner (flatbread pizza - yum!) and then headed back to the hotel to relax.

I slept like crap, as I so often do the night before a race. I woke up approximately one million times. When it was finally time to get up for real, I ate my traditional pre-race oatmeal and then David and I headed over to the local YMCA where we were meeting up in the parking lot with the YPOM running club. Our new club singlets arrived yesterday, just in time for the 40 or so club members who were running the Crim to look mighty stylin' on the race course. YPOM is a force to be reckoned with! :)

I was really nervous about this race. It's notoriously hilly, though some club members told me the Solstice Run 10 miler that I ran earlier this year was hillier. After completing the Crim today, I respectfully disagree. I found the Crim to have more challenging hills and my performance was certainly a lot slower than the Solstice.

I don't remember a lot of specifics about what happened during the race. It was full sun today - not a cloud in the sky - and felt quite hot on the course, so I appreciated all the spectators who set up misting hoses and sprinklers in front of their homes. It was nice to get some relief, because the course didn't have a whole lot of shady areas. There were a lot of cute dogs on the sidelines, but I managed to refrain from stopping to pet any of them. I was sorely tempted, though! Love those dogs!

The Crim has been in existence for a long time. Runners who have done it for 30 years or more get a special shirt. During the race I came across a man who was running his 33rd Crim. That's so impressive and I hope I can have that much running longevity. It's a well-organized race and they have water stops at every mile because historically it's ridiculously humid, though it wasn't too humid this year.

I had a fairly bad attitude during my run so I admit that I kind of gave up in the last few miles when I realized that I wasn't going to hit my time goal. I'm so disappointed in myself. All I keep thinking about is those damn marathons and how I don't enjoy marathon training. Still haven't made any final decisions. I want to get back to enjoying running more and feeling less like it's an endless slog of misery.

Next week is the 30K so I will get through that and then reassess my racing future!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday guilt

My attitude is only slightly better than it was earlier this week after the craptastic long run. Ran on Tuesday and felt fine. Didn't run on Wednesday. Also slept in again this morning, so the guilt really started getting to me. I took my running clothes to work and changed into them before I left the office today, so I would have fewer excuses when I got home.

I managed to push myself out the door tonight against my will and had a lovely run. The weather is gorgeous here, about 75 degrees and sunny at 6:30pm. I feel excellent now (physically) but am still fearful of what will happen next time I attempt a long run.

Maybe I'll feel better after I have a successful 10 miler at the Crim this weekend. We'll see.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Long run whining

I met up with the running club at a local park for my long run today. My running buddy Jo and I were planning on 18 miles, though I ended up at 17 because after two loops I was tired and done.

On the plus side, I didn't have any digestive issues today. Jo gave me a package of Shot Bloks and those seemed to agree with me very well. Goodbye Gu, hello Shot Bloks! I'll need to go buy some of those this week.

On the negative side, I had a crappy run today. The first loop was good. We went out a bit faster than we should have, but were feeling good. The second loop is where I fell apart. My legs felt fine (and the bunion isn't bothering me, woo hoo!) but my feet get so sore and my attitude just went to hell. I walked a lot of the second loop and I'm pretty disgusted with myself. I spent most of the time having a mental conversation with myself where I decided that I'm not going to run either one of these damn marathons. I'll thought, I'll do the 30K with Megan and Jo over Labor Day weekend and then I'm done. Half marathons only for the future.

Later Jo told me that crappy training runs mean good races and assured me I will be fine for the marathons. I'm going to see how the 30K goes. Right now I'm in a better mental place after soaking my feet in an ice bath, but who knows how I'll feel after the 30K. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a marathon runner. I don't know. My legs feel absolutely fine, my breathing was fine. It's just that my feet ache so much on long runs and I've tried several types of shoes and it's always the same. I am so grateful that the bunion isn't bothering me, but the aching makes it really less than fun to do these distances.

So for now, I haven't given up on doing Twin Cities and NYC but I'm sorta depressed about the whole thing. I decided I need a good hilly challenge to give me something worth whining about, so I just registered for the Crim 10 mile race that takes place next Saturday. I was planning a cut-back week with a 10-mile long run anyway, and the Crim will be a good way to do it because about 40 members of the running club will be there running so it will be fun. As fun as a hilly hilly hilly race can be, anyway. If nothing else, it will be good prep for the hilly hilly hilly 30K the following weekend. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Lazypants McSlug (that would be me) blew off her run today. Odds are good I won't run again until Sunday's 18 miler. Well, at least I'll have fresh legs for the long run!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Woo hoo Wednesday!

Planned: 4 miles
Actual: 4.01 miles

I was really sleepy this morning and I didn't feel like getting up to run. But I did it anyway, and even managed to achieve negative splits. Just barely - the last mile was 1 second faster than mile 3 - but I did it. My overall pace was much faster than yesterday. Considering it was a much shorter run, I would expect that to be the case but it doesn't always work out that way for me!

Seven miles on the agenda for tomorrow, which means a very early wake-up call. Guess I'll be recording Top Chef tonight instead of staying up to watch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

Planned: 7 miles
Actual: 7.02 miles (yes, that .02 makes a difference!)

What a gorgeous morning! We finally had a break in the nasty, hot, humid weather so it was in the 50s and delightfully NOT humid when I went out to run this morning. It was great not to be sweating before I even started running.

My legs felt pretty good, especially considering the 17-mile adventure was just two days ago. And it was nice not to have intestinal cramping, too. :)

For the past few weeks I've been thinking that the hot weather is what was making me so slow. Turns out, that's not it. I'm just slow! I felt like I was cruising right along this morning, so it was disheartening to notice my poky slow pace every time I looked at my watch. Must work on that!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ugly long run

Today my running buddy Joanne and I headed out for 17 miles. We accomplished it. It was not pretty, but we did it. I'm going to keep the ugly details to myself. We'll just say "digestive issues" and leave it at that. Joanne and I have agreed that our remaining long runs will be in places that have more bathrooms and more places to refill our water. Woooeeee, it was hot and humid today.

But we did it, we did it, we did it! We will be ready for our fall marathons!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This morning I woke up once again to a disgustingly hot and humid early-morning temperature. My schedule called for six miles, but I was already telling myself that maybe I could just do four because it was so yucky out. Plus I'm lazy.

Once I started running, I was feeling okay. Repulsively sweaty, but otherwise okay. Got barked at by a big, scary dog who had nothing but an invisible electric fence between him and my throat. Fortunately he just pawed at the ground where his invisible fence was and he didn't come after me.

Then I saw a cute black lab and also a couple of golden retrievers. Given the opportunity, they may have sniffed me but I didn't fear for my life like I did with big meanie. Anyway, I enjoyed the dogs and in the course of running along, I managed to convince myself that I could and would complete the six miles I was supposed to do. Certainly I could cut it short, but who would I be cheating? Only myself. So I did six miles.

Victory over laziness. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Still running

Planned: 4 miles
Actual: 4.15 miles

Nothing interesting to report from today's run. Didn't even see anybody out with their dogs, which is usually a benefit of running early in the morning. I love dogs.

Once again it's gross and humid outside. When I'm already sweating when I wake up (no air conditioning at my house), it really doesn't make me want to get up and run. But guilt rules the day again! Glad my guilt complex serves a good purpose sometimes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A good running day

Today was a good day! I woke up at 5:15 knowing I was supposed to run seven miles today. I didn't want to do it, because it was already hot and humid before the sun came up. However, I told one of my running buddies over the weekend that I was going to follow my training schedule this week and that she should bug me about it. So as much as I didn't want to get up and run, I knew Jo would ask me if I'd gotten my run in and I'd feel guilty. That got me up and out there, and I did it.

It was hard to run in the heat and humidity so I was pretty slow, but I got it done. I felt great afterward despite being tired and disgustingly sweaty. And then later in the day Jo sent me a message on FB asking if I'd run and I was happy to be able to say I've been following the schedule.

But the even better part of the day was when I received a text from my friend Megan asking which airport was the best one for someone who might be booking a flight to Detroit to run a 30K. I've been pestering Megan for what feels like months to come to Detroit and run the Labor Day 30K with me, because it will be excellent training for both of us for the Twin Cities Marathon. I do believe I finally wore her down. Woo hoo!

I'm really looking forward to seeing her and running a race with her again. It's been nearly a year since we ran the Dick Beardsley half marathon together. That half was a week after the 30K last year, so I'm pretty sure I must have given her an earful about what a miserable, hilly festival of suck the 30K is. We shall not let it defeat us!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Not my best week

I've been a real slacker this week. After last week's excellent 16 miler, I didn't run on Sunday or Monday. I ran on Tuesday, but only 3.5 miles. Then I didn't run on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. What is happening to me!?!?

I had plans to meet some friends for a long run this morning, so I was committed and that was one run that wouldn't get skipped. I was out late last night with friends, and had a great time, but that isn't so smart when the alarm is going off at 5:30am. So I showed up for the run today with trepidation, a lot of yawning, a poor attitude, and legs that haven't run much lately. What a surprise, when I go into a run expecting it to be difficult, it turns out to be really difficult.

I'm very grateful for my running buddies Joanne and Anna, who helped me get through 12 miles today. I'll be sure not to skip so much running during the week and next weekend Joanne and I will kick butt on the 17-miler we have planned. Onward and upward!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July wrap-up

At the beginning of July, I mentioned that I set a goal of running 120 miles for the month. I'm pleased to report that I achieved that goal, finishing with 124.07.

If I do my planned training for August, then I will beat July's total by 20 miles or so. It's marathon ramp-up time!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The race report that wasn't

Today I was registered for the Legend 5 mile race. It's a trail race; I did it last year and it was pretty fun. But it's a couple of hours from home. So a few weeks ago I decided to skip the Legend and do the Heart of the Hills 10K instead. I did that one last year and it was hard and I got beaten by someone who was about 80 years old, so I wanted a do-over.

But I didn't run either one of those races today. Instead, I went out to good old Stony Creek Metro Park (site of many of my training runs last year) and ran 16 miles with my running buddy Jo. And I had a great time. I don't regret skipping those races at all. If I hadn't done this long run with Jo, then I wouldn't have run long this weekend. I'm going to a pub crawl tonight and I know there's no way I'm going to get up early tomorrow. And if I don't get up early, long runs don't happen.

Overall, the 16 mile run was much better for my training than either of the races would have been. I enjoy running with Jo and she wanted someone to do the long run with her, so I was happy to oblige. Looking forward to many more kick-ass long runs. I'm starting to feel more confident about my ability to finish those marathons in the fall.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taking it easy

Today is tempo run day, but I didn't do a tempo run. My left hamstring was bugging me during my last two runs, so I took a rest day yesterday and decided to run easy today. Seems to have worked because my hamstring felt fine during this morning's run. We'll see what happens when I do some more serious running this weekend.

That's all I've got for now!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Long run fun

Planned: 12 miles
Actual: 12.1 miles

The schedule called for 10-11 miles today, but I was feeling all ambitious and decided to aim for 12. My friend Black Bear contacted me earlier this week to see if I wanted to go for a run, so we agreed to meet at a local park at 7am this morning. I'm calling her Black Bear because I wanted to link to her blog (which she needs to update more often, hint hint) and I don't think she uses her real name on her blog. So she will be BB for the rest of this post!

BB was not up for 12 today, so we agreed that she'd do one loop of the path with me (about 8 1/4 miles) and then I'd be on my own for the rest of the 12. BB runs quite a bit faster than me (she is aiming for a BQ at her next marathon, so yeah, way faster than me), but she agreed to run pokey-pace style with me. Yay!

While I was driving to the park, it was pouring buckets of rain. Awesome, just what I dream of. But lo and behold, the rain stopped as I arrived at the park. Though as BB pointed out, it still felt like we were trying to breathe through a straw. Mighty humid today. This park is somewhat hilly and I am somewhat lazy, so my legs were protesting a bit. But we completed our loop without incident, only a couple of short walk breaks and one longer break for me to hit the potty, ahem.

We observed that there are a few groups of runners who frequent this particular park who are distinctly unfriendly and will not say hello or acknowledge us as they run past us in the other direction. Too bad, I like friendly runners and the idea that there is actually a running community.

After BB left, I kind of fell apart. Before she left I was whining a bit about perhaps cutting the rest of my run short but she told me I could do 12. And she was right, I could, but it's funny how much lazier I get when I'm not running with someone else. More walk breaks, slower pace, more mental games to get myself through it. I added the extra 0.1 just because I wanted to exceed my plan so I could feel better about myself. But I finished and I'm glad I stuck it out. My feet felt fairly sore and I'd better get used to it!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Negative splits

Planned: 4 miles
Actual: 4.07 miles

Majorly humid day today, but at least it's overcast so I could run without the sun pounding down on me. I went out for a short run today since I have a long run planned with a friend tomorrow morning. I planned to take it really easy since it was 11am and hot, but I was feeling pretty good so I found myself picking up the pace a bit as I went along. For one of the few times in my running history, I actually achieved negative splits today. And I finished the run feeling great. Love it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another tempo run

Planned: 5 miles
Actual: 5.1 miles

This morning's schedule called for another tempo run. I'm pleased to say that even though I didn't feel like it at first, I got out there and did it. Sitting here now, five minutes after finishing, I feel totally invigorated even though my legs are tired. I could get addicted to this feeling.

Today's run was a mile longer than last week's tempo run. My pace was 10 seconds/mile slower than last week, but still a lot faster than the McMillan Running Calculator says my tempo runs should be. I would worry about that a little, except that I know I have a lot more potential for speed than my race times indicate so I think it's okay that I'm going faster than McMillan says. I walk faster than the time the calculator tells me to use for my long run pace!

I'll be very interested to see how my next race goes after I spend some more time doing quality workouts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Much better!

Planned: 4 miles
Actual: 4.5 miles

Today's run was a testament to the power of proper nutrition. I ate right yesterday, and didn't load up on things at the end of the day (peanut butter, broccoli) that wouldn't sit right. And voila, this morning's run was much better than yesterday's! I felt strong (once I woke up after the first half mile or so) and no stomach cramps. Ah, success!

How was your run today?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Planned: 5 miles
Actual: 3.25 miles

Note to self: Eating about a pound of broccoli and later having a peanut butter/banana sandwich for dinner is not conducive to a pleasant run the next morning. Stomach cramps galore! Boy, am I glad that's over. I plan to hydrate very well today and have a great run tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bastille Day 15K Race Report

Today I ran the Bastille Day 15K in beautiful and hilly Fenton, MI, along with my friend Shaina. The race website said the course is "hilly and challenging" and they were not kidding!

I arrived at packet pick-up around 6:45am and Shaina showed up a few minutes later. Not a huge crowd, not even a line at the porta potty so I was able to make use of it before it became disgusting. :) I think the porta potty company could have chosen a better name than Poopie's Potties. Come on now, we all know what the potty is for, let's not feel the need to include that in the company name!

Anyway, we picked up our packets, stowed our t-shirts in our cars and headed for the start line. We noticed that the race started on a slight uphill - just a taste of things to come! We noticed a woman with a race bib, holding the leash of a cute dachshund. I wondered if the dog would be running the race and the answer was yes; we saw them running along a little while after the start. I don't know if the dog actually ran the whole thing. That seems awfully far for a little stubby-legged dog, especially in the heat and humidity we were dealing with. But I saw them again after we were finished, and the dog seemed fine. I don't know, maybe she carried him part of the way or handed him off to someone. Or he's just a little running maniac!

Shaina and I had agreed that we would each run our own race and not feel obliged to stay together, but we did stick together for the first half of the race, where I started to pull ahead a little bit and Shaina told me to go. She told me later that the pace for that first half was faster than she was comfortable with, but I am really proud of her for pushing herself and testing her limits.

The course was full of rolling hills. I took advantage of the downhills to pick up some speed and did my best to run strong on the uphills. I'm terrible with remembering what happened when, but I can tell you that there was a GIANT uphill between miles 7 and 8 that lasted at least half a mile. That one certainly made an impression. Everyone I saw was walking that sucker (including me) and when I reviewed my split times, I was not surprised to see that was my slowest mile by far.

God bless the race organizers, though, because after mile 8 the rest of the course was substantially downhill. That rocked! I never felt so strong at the end of a race before. It was a fun feeling. First time my last mile of a race was ever my fastest. (Yeah, I have always dreamed of negative splits, but I have a bad tendency to go out to fast and then fall apart at the end.)

I had a time goal in my head that was my "I'll be so happy if I achieve this time on a hilly course" goal. Well, I shocked myself by beating that time by 5 minutes! I have to say, something has happened to me lately and I'm starting to embrace and enjoy the tough stuff. It's a great feeling of accomplishment to tackle something difficult and exceed your own expectations. Shaina experienced the same thing, because she beat her expected time by quite a bit. She doesn't give herself enough credit for how tough she is.

The race was sponsored by a bakery, so we all received a giant baguette at the end. Delicious!

Embarrassing moment of the day: after I finished and went to wait for Shaina, someone was waving his arms at me only I didn't realize he was waving at me. Turns out it was Jim from the Your Pace or Mine running club. I'd met him last Saturday but totally blanked out and forgot his name. So embarrassing but he was completely nice about it. Met a couple of the other club members. Seems like a great group. I like it that everyone hung out at the finish and waited until all the club members were done with the race.

Overall, the race was a terrific experience. I actually had fun BECAUSE of the challenge, not in spite of it. Super cool. Hope that lasts through the rest of my races this year!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tempo run!

Tempo runs are hard! This is why when I trained for my first marathon, I usually was lazy and skipped them. I would see those tempo runs on my training schedule and decide to just run the distance at an easy pace instead. This may be part of the reason why I struggled my way through the marathon.

This year, I decided it would be different. Except that up to this point, I was still being lazy and not doing the tempo runs. That changed this morning. I had a tempo run on the schedule and by God, I went out there and did it. And yep, it was hard. But I feel fantastic! Seems that I rarely push myself when I run (back to that old laziness thing) and it turns out that it actually feels pretty good to push myself.

Now I just need to keep this up until November and I'll be fine. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Ran 5.2 miles this morning and managed to stay on my feet the whole time. :) I'm going to call that a successful run!

Also, not even a hint of the ol' bunion bothering me. I was so busy trying to see if my swollen foot/ankle were feeling okay that I didn't even think about the bunion. Foot and ankle are fine, by the way. I have some swelling in my left foot and ankle which I think are from my tripping incident on Sunday.

Though now that I think about it, they were a little swollen on Saturday, too. Hmmm, I wonder if it's the new shoes. I sure hope not, because I don't want to trade one problem for another. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The good and the bad and the potentially ugly

Today I met Shaina at a local state park to do a trail run. We decided to run for an hour, since we both already did our long runs this weekend. Shaina, by the way, is a bad-ass because she did a 64-mile bike ride yesterday and a swimming class this morning, and she still had it in her to run for an hour.

The good:
  • It was nice and shady on the trail, so even though we were running at 11am we weren't dying from the heat tooooo much.
  • The trail had lots of steep hills, all the better to increase my strength and make running in flat world feel a lot easier.
  • My legs felt really great. I would not have expected that after running 12 miles yesterday, but I didn't experience any leg soreness today.
The bad:

  • I tripped and fell on the trail, not once but twice! How embarrassing. Fortunately I don't think I injured myself. My left arm is a little sore and I have some soreness in my left foot, as well, but I should be okay.
The potentially ugly:

  • Pretty sure I'm going to have one heck of a bruise on my left shin. I bruise easily as it is and I think I really walloped that poor shin when I fell.

So overall, the good far outweighs the bad and the ugly. As always, it is a delight to run with Shaina and I'm pleased that we're challenging ourselves by doing hilly runs to make ourselves stronger.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Long run day!

This morning I went for a 12 mile run. I was scheduled for 8-9 miles, but I was pretty easily talked into doing 12 by some of the members of the Your Pace or Mine running club. This was my first run with YPOM.

I'd seen the club mentioned somewhere ages ago and just kind of tucked it into the back of my mind. Then a few weeks ago, I was thinking how much I miss running with a group so I remembered YPOM and found their website. They have a forum on the site. I introduced myself and received many nice, welcoming responses from the members. So when some members planned a 12 miler for today I decided to join in.

One of the members, Jo, was planning to run at the same pace as I was, so we ran together. She was great, lots of fun to run and chat with. The other members I met also seemed really nice but I didn't talk to them much since they were ahead of me and Jo.

What was also nice was that the other members were waiting for me and Jo at the end of our run to sort of cheer us to the end. I really enjoyed the whole experience and look forward to running with them again. From what I gather from reading the forum, they like to do lots of races and travel to quite a few. Awesome, because I love to travel and do races, too.

It's always great to meet some new running buddies and I get the sense that there are some folks in YPOM from whom I can learn a lot. I bet I'll get some encouragement to push myself a bit and improve my running, too.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whining about the heat!

My zip code says I live in Michigan, but the temperature says I live in Hell. Okay, so that's pathetically whiny. I'm pretty glad these days that I converted myself into an early morning runner, because there's not much chance that I'd be able to motivate myself to head out after work into the blazing sun in 90+ degree heat. On days like this, I do understand why my friend Wendy embraces her treadmill. I admire the runners I saw on my way home this evening. They have tremendous dedication.

Did 4 1/4 miles again this morning and the miracle shoes were back to being miraculous. Bunion felt just fine. Wish there were some rhyme or reason to this, but I'll just be grateful for every pain-free run I have!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

Captain Obvious here, pointing out that it is fricking hot today in the Detroit area and therefore this makes running more difficult. When the overnight low is 72, you know it's going to be a scorcher. Alas, I waited until 10am to start my run today because I wanted to sleep in and then be lazy. Well, I paid for it in sweat. Even my favorite hat couldn't keep the salty sweat from flooding into my eyes and stinging them.

But the important thing is that I ran anyway, instead of using the heat as an excuse to skip another day. I celebrated the 4th of July by taking the day off from running and eating all sorts of delicious and unhealthful foods. Found some vegetarian marshmallows so I had my first s'mores in 18 years and THEY WERE DELICIOUS! So worth every calorie. But today we're back to eating right and exercising.

Only ran 4 1/4 miles this morning, wearing the new miracle Saucony shoes. Only they weren't quite as miraculous today, since I was more aware of my bunion today than I was during my 10-miler on Saturday. Hmmm, what is the deal, feet? Why must you torture me so? Were my feet swollen because of the heat? Did my feet spread out yesterday because I was in delightful sandals all day instead of shoes? I don't know, but I did not approve of the bunion twinges this morning! We shall see how it goes tomorrow when I have another short run planned. Grrr!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Shoes, part 2!

This morning I met David's cousin Shaina at a park and we did a 10 mile run. It was a fabulous run and I love running with Shaina.

I wore the new Sauconys again and I am feeling very encouraged. With my previous shoes, 10 miles would mean my bunion would be in agony. Today, though, things were great. I can't say I was completely unaware of my bunion's existence, but it was approximately a million times better than with my other shoes. Very, very happy! Let's hope this continues as I get into longer distances during marathon training.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Let the shoe experiments begin!

This morning I tried out my brand new Saucony Progrid Ride 2 shoes to see how they did with the ol' bunion of doom. Only ran 5 miles, so it's probably too early to get excited, but I'm feeling cautiously optimistic. Normally after 5 miles in the Adidas shoes, my bunion would be talking to me fairly loudly. But this morning, I was barely aware of it (other than the fact that I spent the whole run thinking "hey how is the bunion doing? Is my bunion going to start hurting soon? How about that bunion?").

Tomorrow will be a better test, as I plan to run 9-10 miles in the morning which is a distance that generally leaves my bunion feeling extremely tender and painful.

If anyone has any knowledge of good shoes for people with giant, gross bunions then I would love to hear about it!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Shoes

I'm so excited because I have two new pairs of shoes arriving tomorrow. I have a honking huge bunion on my right foot. I will not provide photos because it is gross. Anyway, ever since Adidas changed the bunion area of my beloved Supernova Sequence shoes from mesh to leather, that darn bunion just kills me on runs of any decent distance because of the added pressure.

Sooo, I have two pairs of men's shoes arriving tomorrow from Amazon. They are both Saucony, two different models that I want to try out. I have an older pair of Sauconys that are no good for running anymore, but they are men's and therefore have a wider toe box and also have a mesh "bunion window" so they don't bug my bunion as much as the Adidas. They fit me well and I am really hopeful that at least one of these new shoes will work out well.

I don't expect to run totally pain free, but it would be nice if I didn't feel like chopping my toe off at the end of a half marathon. Especially considering I would like to run two marathons this fall! Wish me luck. :)

June goal completed!

I ran four miles this morning, bringing my total for the month of June to 121.63. My goal was 120 miles, so mission accomplished.

My goal for July is 120 miles again. I should probably make the goal slightly higher since July has an extra day, but I'd rather give myself a cushion. A 120-mile month is still a big month for me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another day, another race registration

Wheee! I love registering for races. It gives me a sense of excitement and a little twinge of fear of the unknown. Today I registered for the Bastille Day 15K. I've never run a 15K race before, so that's an automatic PR no matter how much I stink it up. :)

The course is described as "hilly and challenging" which normally is something I would want to avoid. But this is not a normal year and I'm embracing hilly challenges as much as possible. It will only make me stronger for those fall marathons.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What I learned today

I learned that if you spend all morning sitting around doing nothing and then finally go for your run just as the rain is threatening to start, you may end up having a short tempo run (instead of the easy recovery run you were planning) when the rain starts pouring down on you and you decide that it's in your best interest to get home quickly before you get struck by lightning.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Solstice Run 10 Mile Race Report

This morning I ran the Solstice Run 10 Mile race in beautiful Northville, MI. David came along to cheer me on, but we forgot to bring a camera so there's no photographic evidence of the race. It was mid to upper 60s at the race start, with cloudy skies, so not too shabby compared to the overheated sweat-fest that was the Cheesetown Challenge last week.

Before I get into the blah, blah, blah of the race report, I just want to say that today was great. This was the first race I've done in quite some time where I didn't have moments of despair where I felt like quitting. I feel like I've turned a corner and I'm ready to head into marathon training with a positive attitude. Now for the blah, blah, blah part of the post...

The race started at Northville Downs, which is a horse racing track. We started out by making a loop of the race track. The guy next to me was making horse noises as we ran. It was pretty funny. I don't think they groomed the track, because I could see hoof prints in the dirt but it was easy to run on, so no big deal.

There weren't a ton of people behind me as we exited the track to hit the streets. David was there at the exit so I told him "I'm battling for last place again" and he laughed. But by the time we left the track parking lot (about 3/4 mile into the race) I could see that I wouldn't be last unless something went drastically wrong, so I decided to relax and enjoy myself. Also, no police cars were trailing the people at the back so even if I were last, I would have felt less pressure.

First thing we came upon after leaving the parking lot was a fairly steep hill. I'd heard the course was hilly and that was no lie - there were hills throughout the course. But I approached it with a positive attitude, thinking about how good the hills are to make me a stronger runner. Around the 3 mile mark, we started getting a little rain, but it was just some random sprinkles that continued from time to time through the race. Felt pretty good.

At about 3.3 miles, we entered a subdivision. This was a loop through the sub, so we exited out the same street. As I was entering at mile 3.3, I saw the lead female runner at what turned out to be just past the 6 mile mark. So she was not quite twice as fast as I am, which strangely enough is comforting to me. Heh, I have low standards apparently.

Starting around 6.5 miles, we entered my favorite part of the course - about a mile and a half that was liberally sprinkled with downhill portions. Ahhh, so nice to be able to pick up speed without feeling like it's any extra effort. I loved it!

There were certain portions of the race where the roads were a potholed mess and seemed pretty hazardous. It was only for short stretches and represented a tiny part of the course, but I hope that's fixed up before next year because I could see some twisted ankles happening there.

In the last couple of miles (maybe more, can't remember) the 10 mile course joined up with the 5K and 10K courses so there were suddenly a lot more people around. The shorter races started later than the 10 mile. What I liked about meeting up with the other races is that I knew we were getting close to the end, and also if anyone passed me I just assumed they were doing a shorter race and thus were not beating me at the distance I was running. I love the mental games I play. :)

Around mile 9 I suddenly became very tired, but the end was near and I was getting excited to cross that finish line. With maybe .4 left to go, I saw David smiling at me so that gave me an extra kick. Then I headed down the path into the park where the finish was and saw David again (he had come down the stairs quickly) and got a high five and another big smile.

It seemed like we had to make almost a full loop around this park path which felt like forever because I just wanted to see that finish line! And finally there it was. Woo hoo! David had dashed across the park to see me at the finish, so he was there but I wasn't looking for him since I wasn't expecting it. Alas, I am too slow so they were out of medals by the time I finished, but I signed up on the list of people who didn't get a medal and will get it later.

Then we went off to the art show that was taking place nearby and I bought myself a pretty ring as a reward.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's good to have goals

As I mentioned recently, I have a goal of running 1,200 miles this year and I'm a bit behind. So I decided to set a June goal to run 120 miles. I realize for the elite types, that's more like a weekly goal. But for me that's a pretty big month.

I announced my goal in public on the fitness forum to which I belong, which gives me the guilt/shame factor if I fail. And I must say, posting that goal has certainly proven to be motivating to me. There are many days where I'd lazily skip a run if I didn't have that goal hanging over my head.

This morning, for instance, I woke up to the delightful sounds of a thunderstorm. But instead of going back to sleep, I headed to the basement to get on the treadmill. Unfortunately, I don't really care for my treadmill so I didn't put in quite as much mileage as I should have. So, when I arrived home from work this evening I headed out into the sun and heat to get in some more mileage. That wouldn't have happened if I didn't have a goal. Sure, they were junk miles, but I still had the same endorphin rush as I would have with a more productive run. And I will get to 120 this month, dang it!

Do you set fitness goals or do you just float along and see what happens?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cheesetown Challenge Photographs

Here are just a few pictures from Saturday's Cheesetown Challenge. First up, here I am at the start line thinking about how all these people are going to be passing me shortly.

All alone, about half a mile from the finish line. Sooooo lonely. :)

Almost done, not quite last. Woo hoo!

A giant mouse driving a car.
Because it's a cheese festival, duh! :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cheesetown Challenge 5 Mile Race Report

Yesterday, David and I went to Pinconning, MI so I could run the 5 mile Cheesetown Challenge race. Pinconning is the cheese capital of Michigan, hence the name of the race.

We arrived a couple of hours before race time so I could get my packet and we could check out the Cheesetown Festival. The race packet included a sample of Pinconning cheese, which we promptly devoured. Then we went to a cheese store, bought some cheese and stashed it in the cooler we'd brought along for that very purpose. The race was at 6:30pm and it was flipping hot, sunny, and humid. Not great race conditions!

When it was almost race time, we went to the start line and I realized that this was a very small race. I also realized that everyone else looked pretty serious and more fit than I am. I looked at David and said "I think I'm going to be last." The race started and my premonition came true - everyone took off and I was lagging behind almost immediately. I tried to keep up, but there was no way. I'm slow and that wasn't going to change during the course of the race. So I settled down and decided to go at my own pace.

What I learned is that when you're in last place at a tiny race where the roads aren't closed, you may well have a police car trailing right behind you to make sure that no cars come run you over. I had no idea how pressure-filled it is to be in last place! :)

There were a couple of people not too far ahead of me who didn't know how to pace themselves, so they were taking frequent walk breaks. Every time I caught up to them, though, they'd start running again. I guess I was their inspiration. :)

I was debating just dropping out of the race because I hated having that police car right behind me. Then I considered running alongside the car so I could chat with the officer while I was racing. But then at the two mile mark, my minor miracle happened. The two people who were just ahead of me could no longer maintain their pace, so they fell behind me. Hooray, someone else could have the cops on their tail!

I kept plugging away, checking behind me occasionally to make sure nobody was gaining on me. There were occasional spectators along the course and they were unfailingly kind and encouraging to me, which was pretty funny. Hard to take it seriously when someone says "great job" when you know better. :) At every mile marker, there were volunteers calling out split times. I told the volunteer at mile 3 not to tell me, because I didn't want to know. (And I was wearing my Garmin, so I knew anyway.)

With about three quarters of a mile to go, I caught up to another runner. He asked me how I was doing and I said that I was still making forward progress, so I figured that was a good sign. I asked how he was and he said he was struggling. He started to get ahead of me a bit, then he said "oh no, cramps again" and started walking. I wished him well and kept on going. Felt bad, but also was pathetically happy to pass someone else.

As I approached the finish line, I could see David taking photos so I tried to pick up the pace and look like a real runner. I will post pictures once I get a chance to pull them off his camera.

I finished the race right around the time I thought I would. It's interesting that I would have felt great about my finish if there had been more people behind me, but the same time felt like failure when I was so close to the end. I need to get a little better at only feeling competitive with myself and not worrying about what everyone else is doing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 Racing Madness

I set a goal for 2010 of running 1,200 miles (because that's what I did in 2009) and running six races of half marathon length or longer (again, that's what I did in 2009).

I'm currently a little behind the pace for the 1,200 mile goal, due to being exceptionally lazy in April and May, but I'm working on getting caught up. And I think I'm going to over-achieve on the six half marathons thing. As I mentioned in my last post, I've done four half marathons this year. And I have a bunch more races on the schedule.

6/19 Cheesetown Challenge 5 Mile
6/26 Solstice Run 10 Mile
7/31 The Legend 5 Mile
9/4 Labor Day 30K
10/3 Twin Cities Marathon
10/17 Freep Half Marathon
11/7 New York Marathon

Check out those last four - they're all half marathon or longer, so if I manage to complete these races then I'll surpass my goal by two races.

The Labor Day 30K is a race that made me cry last year, so I'm determined to kick its ass this time around. Must do more hill training! I'm hoping that my friend Megan is going to come run it with me.

The New York Marathon is going to be a crazy dream come true. My friends Wendy and Ken had an automatic in since they've participated in the lottery for the last three years without getting selected. So when Wendy suggested I throw my name into the lottery, I figured "what the heck" and did it.

I'll admit that I was sort of hoping I wouldn't get selected, because I wasn't sure if I wanted to train for a marathon this year. I am naturally lazy, after all! But indeed, I was chosen in the lottery and how could I turn down such a fabulous opportunity? Sure, the trip to New York will cost me approximately a million dollars, but what a wonderful experience it will be. And I'm excited to have a chance to run with Wendy and Ken again. Let's hope I can keep up this time!

The Twin Cities Marathon that's a mere five weeks before NYC? Yeah, not 100% sure about that one yet. I'm registered for the race (and good thing, because it's sold out now), but I don't know if I can handle two marathons that close together. Actually, I take that back. I CAN handle two marathons that close together, but I am fundamentally lazy. Which makes me realize that I have to do it. Laziness must not prevail!

The reason I was drawn to Twin Cities is because I have a friend who will be running it as her very first marathon and I'd love to be there to support her. I know how much it meant to me to have friends run my first marathon with me and I would love to give my friend similar support - even though I'm quite sure she'll beat me to the finish line. So hey, maybe she can hang out at the finish and give me support when I creak across the line. :) Do you hear me, Megan? I expect you to wait at the finish for me!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brushing off the dust!

Poor little blog, abandoned for almost eight months. I may be ready to brush off the dust and cobwebs, and start posting again. Some day when I'm old, I may enjoy reading back on the days when I was able to run.

Though it might appear so from the lack of activity here, I didn't actually quit running after completing the marathon in October. In fact, I've run quite a few races since then:

10/24/09 - Headless Horseman 5K
10/31/09 - Fright Night 5K
12/12/09 - Run Like the Dickens 5K
2/7/10 - Surf City Half Marathon
4/10/10 - Martian Half Marathon
5/21/10 - Fargo 5K
5/22/10 - Fargo Half Marathon
5/29/10 - Bayshore Half Marathon
6/5/10 - Oak Apple 10K
6/12/10 - Flirt with Dirt 5K

No race reports to follow. I'm far too lazy to go back and try to remember what happened at all of those races. I can barely remember the details five minutes after the race is done. But I will say, the Fargo races are HIGHLY recommended - especially if you love a course that really is flat!

So, that's it for now, but I won't be a stranger to the blog anymore and I'll be back soon enough to post about exciting upcoming events!