Sunday, February 28, 2010

11 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, February 22nd 2010: 3.7 miles @ 11:14 per mile pace. Early morning runs can be hard. It’s a challenge to drag myself out of the warm bed and I felt like I was still half-asleep.

Tuesday, February 23rd 2010: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Wednesday, February 24th 2010: 3.5 miles @ 10:30 per mile pace. This was the first time in a long time that I’ve run on the treadmill. It actually wasn’t too bad. Afterward I felt guilty for being such a hater with treadmills. Please forgive me.

Thursday, February 25th 2010: Not a thing.

Friday, February 26th 2010: 20 minute walk + 10 minutes exercise bike. The day also included a fat chocolate donut. And a lemon bar. Or two. Woops.

Saturday, February 27th 2010: 11 miles @ 10:53 per mile pace. (The pace isn’t completely accurate because it doesn’t take into account the stops I made to take pictures.)

My friend Tom is an awesome runner and even ran the Boston Marathon. He invited me on a run along the Hurricane Rim Trail and the JEM Trail with him. I had never been on these trails and came to find out that they are amazing. It was cold and windy, but perfect running weather. I didn’t ever feel overheated.

Much of the route was either steep uphill or steep downhill. In fact, the first mile alone climbed 366 feet and my legs were burning. In all, the total ascent was 1394 feet and the descent was 1703 feet. There were some incredible views along the trail.

The only stipulation I had for Tom was that I didn’t want him to wait for me and my gimp knee. He was far enough ahead that he had time to make this cool road map. I arrived at an intersection where I could go left or right. Thankfully I had this direction:

The trail was nine miles and I decided to do two more miles once I got home. I noticed that I must have a lot of salt in my sweat. After long runs, my face looks like I went bobbing for apples in a barrel of powdered sugar.

I had a blast on this run and really love running on anything besides pavement. I think along with my knee issues I developed a slight case of crybaby-itis so I’m going to work on not focusing on my ailments. To take my mind off of knee pain, pass the lemon bars!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What Does Love Look Like?

I have something to show you. Grab the box of Kleenex. Seriously.

This video is of Team Hoyt - a father and son team who have completed 67 (67!!) marathons and 6 (6!!) Ironman Triathlons.

The amazing part is that the son has cerebral palsy and has been pushed/pulled by his dad (who is almost 70 years old!) for every single race.

This gave me a greater respect for the ideas of love, parenthood, dedication, and triumph. I hope it will do the same for you. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

12 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, February 15th 2010: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Tuesday, February 16th 2010: Walking 43 minutes with Jackson. It's a good thing I didn't have my wallet with me. We walked past the Maverik gas station and I heard the frozen yogurt inside begging to get in my belly.

Wednesday, February 17th 2010:
8.6 miles @ 10:08/mile pace. I headed out to the Desert Reserve to do trail running hoping that my knee would cooperate better with the softer surface. did!

I took lots of walk breaks and had a few times where my knee really started to hurt, but not to the point where I absolutely could not run. I felt proud of myself for the distance since I haven't been able to go very far for a few weeks.

I had one potential "wet your pants" moment when I came around a turn and saw two big dogs coming from the other direction. One resembled a pit bull and the other one looked like a mutt. They were BIG. I prayed that their owner would come around the bend but nobody ever showed up. I feared that they may want some Cory Rump Roast for dinner.

I didn't want to run the other way because I knew they would chase me. I didn't know what else to do, so I tried some canine reverse psychology. I squatted down and called the dogs over to me. I prayed that if I looked confident, they wouldn't take a chunk out of my femur.

So the dogs ran up to me and I cautiously petted them. They seemed to mellow out. So I headed back up the trail and called the dogs to follow me. They stayed with me up and down the trail for a few times but then got bored and went their own way. I'm thankful no blood was shed that day.

Thursday, February 18th 2010: 30 minutes on exercise bike. This is surely the most mindless activity ever invented.

Friday, February 19th 2010: Rest. Carbo-loading included lasagna. And ice cream.

Saturday, February 20th 2010: Dam To Dam race!!! 5 miles @ 9:22/mile pace.

Every once in a while when I'm feeling adventurous, I pull out the orange trucker hat with an orange pom pom on the top. It always makes me laugh when I wonder who had the brilliant idea to make a hat for a construction company with an orange pom pom on top. Saturday morning I was feeling adventurous. I decided I'd wear the hat during the Dam To Dam race.

As usual, we had a big group of friends that ran the race also. This is a large part of what makes running fun.

Compared with some of my friends who actually look athletic, I'd say I look more like a parakeet (sporting an orange pom pom trucker hat).

The race starts at one side of the dam at Sand Hollow Reservoir, goes around the whole lake, then finishes at the other end of the dam for a total of five miles. I loved the course because half of it was on softer cinder or dirt.

I stayed with friends Elizabeth, Cherie, and Renee for the first mile or so but they were doing an 8:30 pace which was a bit too quick for me. Over the course of every single race, I question my sanity. Races hurt. My body is very predictable when telling me I'm going too fast. My arms get sore and tingly, and my back feels like it is being squeezed by a boa constrictor. Both of those happened during this race.

When I neared the finish line Renee was waiting to bring people in. She ran with me and yelled to pick it up and I was almost there. That was awesome of her. It helped. I finished in 46 minutes 50 seconds and averaged a 9:22 per minute pace. I was really happy with how the race went. Mel also ran the race and finished in 52 minutes which was a great time.

We did recieve a Dam shirt, but unfortunately I wasn't quite fast enough to earn a Dam medal.

The runs seemed to go better this week. I am happy. (Insert fist bump.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

13 Weeks To Marathon

My left knee is not doing so hot. It feels really sore and unstable. I decided I need to go a little easier on my body if I’m going to make it to the Ogden Marathon in May.

So I have adopted the Jeff Galloway Training Program to use for the next few months and if all goes well, I’ll give it a try in the marathon too. Jeff has been a world champion distance runner, written books, and is highly respected. He advocates for a run/walk program which ends up being easier on the body and speeds recovery.

His theory is that it is critical to take walk breaks from the beginning of a long run or marathon, even before you feel like you need it. Doing this helps conserve energy so you’re not dead by the end of the race. His website is pretty convincing. Check it out HERE. I’m looking forward to giving it a try for a few months. I feel like I’ve got nothing to lose. Why not.

Monday, February 8th 2010:
1 mile jog + 20 minutes on exercise bike. I wanted to test out my knee and did a slow jog around the big block. It didn’t feel the greatest.

Tuesday, February 9th 2010: 20 minute walk on treadmill.

Wednesday, February 10th 2010: 3.5 miles @ 10:57/mile pace. I wrapped up my knee with an Ace bandage then headed out. I had my first experience using the Galloway Method which seemed to work fairly well. I ran for three minutes, then walked one minute. It managed to get me through the run without a ton of pain and even with the walking my pace wasn’t too bad.

If you walk in our house, you will see a hand print on the mirror. That hand print is from me giving myself a high five when I got home.

Thursday, February 11th, 2010: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Friday, February 12th 2010: Walking 45 minutes on treadmill.

Saturday, February 13th 2010: 5.2 miles @ 12:46/mile pace. Mel and I headed out for our run around the block. I didn’t want to be too far from home in case my knee gave out.

Things started okay for the first three miles, but after that my knee kicked in and I just couldn’t run. I ended up walking a few more miles. It’s been a bit of a rough and discouraging week for running.

Fortunately, I found something that made my running soul smile: The Krispy Kreme Challenge! (Read the full story and see more pictures HERE.)

I wish I lived in North Carolina and could run this one. The race consists of 2 miles, during which runners must consume a DOZEN Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They quickly sold out their 6,000 slots, and raised more than $40,000. Many runners dress up, and I noticed an unusually high ratio of Bananas. Here are a few pictures:

All twelve doughnuts would equal 144 grams of fat and 2,400 calories. I don’t think there’s much risk of gaining weight by running this race though. I presume that most runners toss their doughnuts by the end of the course.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

14 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, February 1st 2010: 5 miles @ 10:34/mile pace. There are certain things that convince me I am crazy. Exhibit A: Running 5 miles before work when it is so cold and dark outside. There are lots of other people who do this. And they are crazy too.

Tuesday, February 2nd 2010: Not a thing. I planned to do my long run on Wednesday so I took Tuesday off.

Wednesday, February 3rd 2010: 14 miles @ 12:11/mile pace. Before heading out for my run, Kylee and I drove the route to drop a few bottles of Gatorade. (Is it just me, or do bottles of Gatorade resemble fluorescent urine?)

The first ten miles (10 MILES!) were golden. I felt incredible. I experimented with stretching my quads and knees every ten minutes which kept the IT band issues at bay. I was averaging around a 9:40 pace. I felt SO good.

But then something bad happened. I'm not sure exactly what, but my left knee felt like it had ripped. I jogged intermittently for the next few miles, but ended up walking the last few miles home. The last 4 miles averaged around 15 minutes/mile. I tried to jog a few times over the last few miles, but the pain was enough to make me sick to my stomach.

I consulted with Dr. Google and I think it could be "Patellar Tendonitis". Worst case scenario would be a meniscus tear. I'm kind of concerned with how often I'm being visited by injuries lately. I'm not sure what I need to be doing differently. I DON'T want to be on a first-name-basis with the sports medicine doctor. I am nervous to go to the doctor because I don't want him to suggest this treatment plan:

I think I'm going to need to adjust my training plans for the Ogden Marathon coming up in 14 weeks. Instead of having a goal time to finish the marathon, I believe I need to change my goal to "Get To The Starting Line Healthy".

I read a quote in Lore Of Running today that seemed to click:
"The single most important reason most runners are prone to overtraining is, I believe, that we lack the ability to make an objective assessment of our ultimate performance capabilities. We simply will not accept that we are mortal and that we have a built-in performance range beyond which training and other interventions cannot take us. We believe that the harder we train, the faster we will run, and we ignore the evidence that indicates that this is blatantly untrue. Thus, we train harder and run worse. And then, in the ultimate act of stupidity, we interpret our poor races as an indication that we have undertrained. Consequently, we go out and train even harder." And later, "Many runners would prefer to fail gloriously than to feel that they will stand on the starting line less than fully prepared."

That has always been my fear: arriving at the starting line less than fully prepared. I'm working on realizing that "less than fully prepared" is much better than being injured.

Thursday, February 4th 2010: 30 minutes on exercise bike.

Friday, February 5th 2010: Rest. And a ridiculous amount of calories consumed at Red Robin. Yum.

Saturday, February 6th 2010: 75 minutes on exercise bike. While on the bike I watched the Jazz beat the Nuggets. Jazz games are a good source of adrenaline.

So in conclusion: 1) Reassess and revise training plan. 2) Be realistic. 3) Avoid injury like the plague.

The first ten miles of my long run felt so amazing, and the last four felt so excrutiating. So I think I'll say I went on a ten mile run followed by a four mile cool down.