Saturday, January 26, 2013

This week and last week - what a trip

I'll start out with this: I've been bad about my Wednesday runs. I have a hard time talking myself into going up to Brookhaven to run, but even this week I was already up there (and dressed and ready to go), but didn't do it. This has to change.

That said, I'm still pleased with my running. Last Saturday I ran my longest distance yet, with a notable hill on Johnson Ferry Rd. I also ran most of the second half of that run by myself -- I'm such a tough cookie. I've been doing the Sunday bike rides (slowly) and getting the Tuesday/Thursday runs in (will some turkey talk to get me out there), but I haven't yet managed to swing riding to school those days in addition to running. It's hard knowing that I'll be riding home in the dark on Tuesdays because of when lab gets out (MARTA is a reasonable alternative for that portion of the commute), and hard to get the timing right for a 45-minute commute one way plus a 40-50 minute run. As the days get longer, I suspect this will be less of a problem, but for now I'm letting it get in my way.

Last Saturday's stats:

Average pace: 10:20 (10:29) min/mi
Distance: 13.98 mi
Time: 2.24.42 (2.26.22)
I'm not posting HR stuff because it's still incredibly off, even with the new positioning and batteries. I'm not sure what to make of it.

I wanted to jog around the parking lot to round out the 13.98 to 14, but I was one of the last people in and everyone was in the lot cheering for me, and I didn't want to look like a jackass. We ran at the river, so it was pretty and nice. The sun balanced the coolness in the air perfectly.

This morning we did a step back in our distance (the last, I believe, until we taper), and did 10 miles out of the church. I ran with D and P (and T! A great kid) for the first three miles or so, but then the two routes split and I was by myself for another three miles or so. I caught another group of ladies who were happy to let me join them and chat away, so I finished strong and in good company.


Average pace: 10:42 (10:51) min/mi
Distance: 9.94 mi (because I forgot to start the watch until about a quarter mile in)
Time: 1.46.18 (1.47.54)

As proof, the Garmin said I averaged 178 bpm over the 10 miles, which is nearly 90% of my max. This, clearly, cannot be.

Taken before the run. I feel like an asshole, because T took the picture
and is therefore not in it. He ran 6 miles today, what a trooper!
All told, I felt really good today. I was missing C, though, who has been ordered not to run for at least two weeks to ward off an imminent injury. : (  I'm looking forward to riding with her tomorrow, though, and hope she's doing better.

Finally, for those of you who think I've given up completely on fundraising now that I've met my minimum, there's a fun game coming down the pipes this week, so keep your eyes peeled. If you don't need an incentive to give, however, just click on the link to the right now and give me your money, no questions asked.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Last week and a day - all in one place (here)

Last week was one of ups and downs, as far as training is concerned. I felt pretty OK on the ride on Sunday (the 6th), but not OK enough to do any loops around the park. It was chilly enough where I just wanted to turn right back around, though the sun came out long enough for brunch to be enjoyable. I ran without fanfare on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday, though on Wednesday I came up a couple of miles short of what I was supposed to do because of the group I ended up running with.

I did not run on Thursday (I didn't feel amazing).

Saturday the marathon training distance was 12 miles, but I - like so many people on the team - was schedule to run a 15k the next morning and so I ran 4 miles with the half-marathoners. C ran the full 12 and did great and we had a lovely time eating lunch at Panera.

Saturday stats:
Average pace: 10:38 (10:42) min/mi
Distance: 4.00 mi
Time: 0.42.52
Average Heart Rate: I think the battery in the strap died because it didn't record anything.

I changed the battery out Saturday night, thinking that that could also have caused some of the weird readings from the last few excursions.

After four solid miles in the heat and humidity we were soaked.
I'm especially excited because, while I was waiting for C to finish her run, I talked with Coach K about cycling during the week, specifically adding my commutes to and from school to the training schedule. I had been worried that it would be considered to be too much to do both cycling and running on TR, but she said that, given my solid base, it wouldn't be a problem, especially since the commute is fairly low-key. She also said that on Thursdays after longer (8- and 10-mile) runs on Wednesday to just do the ride to allow for some recovery, but otherwise it wouldn't be an issue and would probably make me even stronger and better on the runs. I'll take that!

On Sunday I ran my second-ever organized race, which was also the second-longest distance I've ever run: the Hot Chocolate 15K. It was very well organized and there were hundreds of volunteers. I was actually pretty impressed. The sweatshirt is awesome (I've worn it every day since I got it, and in fact am wearing it right now) and the hot cocoa at the end was surprisingly welcome, given the 70 degree temperature. It was, indeed, a hot chocolate race. LKK from high school came up from Columbus, GA on Saturday to spend the night before the race (she did the 5k and then in the afternoon ran ANOTHER 5k in Columbus), and it was nice to catch up in a non-timed or hurried manner.

Sunday stats:
Average pace: 10:25 (10:30) min/mi
Distance: 9.44 mi
Time: 1.38.19 (1.39.08)
Average Heart Rate: 183 (238).

My heart rate was all over the place again, right before the race started it had gotten down to the 80s and 90s, which was believable given the excitement of the afternoon, but I still can't believe that it averaged over 200 for the first two miles (according to the chart). After about four miles it appears to have been much better calibrated. I've adjusted its positioning, changed the battery, washed the strap, wet the strap, tightened the strap, everything I could think of. I do wonder if it gets thrown off by signals from other heart rate monitors.

I had a good time with the run, felt great during it and had some kick at the end (which to me is a sign of energy well expended). I was very hungry during the race, so I was glad to have both worn a cycling tank with a pocket on the back and put a pack of honey stingers in it. D and P ALSO had a great event, running the entirety of the 15k despite a rash of injuries and illnesses since the holidays that had severely limited their training time.

Apparently it's only a cycling trick to bring a complete change of
clothes for after an event. I got oddball looks, but was dry and warm.

I was a little disappointed with the finisher's mug, because it was compartmentalized (which did, at least, make carrying the hot cocoa and fondue easier) and plastic, not an actual (ceramic) mug. I threw mine out because it was sticky and there wasn't room for it in my bag and I was going to ride MARTA where (unknown to me ahead of time) a man would make an incredibly surprising and inappropriate gesture toward me.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Read it and weep: A week of firsts

I kicked the new year (2013) off right this week by going to bed around 11 on NYE and running my first ever 10k the next morning, in conditions that can be generously described as suboptimal. It was very rainy and very wet and rather chilly, but I made it and it was great. I averaged in the mid-10s and came in 20/38 for my age group. I followed that cold, wet effort up with two 3-mile days on Wednesday and Thursday. I was grateful for the rest on Friday, though we walked the doggies for 2 miles, jogging some of that because Charlotte was feeling frisky.

Then, Saturday.

Oh, Saturday, what a day it's been. I ran with C and we had a great time, despite cursing the cue sheet and sparse map. The wretched directions were the focus of our abuse for the simple fact that we got lost. We got lost four and a half times. Let me count the ways:

0.5 We followed the half marathon team (running a scant 3 miles) for about a tenth of a mile before I realized we were to have gone straight out of the lot instead of turning right. As this was due to following a crowd, and as a coach had also done the same thing, it only gets counted as half lost.

1.5 We ran too far down Peachtree, missing the turn for Rivers Rd. Whoops. The cue had us getting to Ptree Battle anyway, so we backtracked a bit (about a block) to it and then pick up the course there.

2.5 We overshot a turn around point after a loop around the park. The directions had us turn left on a road we'd already done, and then turn back at a side street that we didn't see. We recognized the loop as the one we'd just done and as not being the way back to the water stop, and realized we'd overshot the sidestreet by about a quarter-half mile.

3.5 We missed Rivers Rd. AGAIN (it's labeled Habersham where we would actually pick it up), and took Ptree Battle back to Peachtree instead.

At this point we had already resolved just to run the 10 miles we were supposed to do and then walk back to the church, otherwise knowing we would be running 11-11.5 miles.

We hit 10 miles, start walking, triple-check the directions back, and 4.5 overshoot Valley Rd. by about 1/3 of a mile. Seriously, it's a syndrome with us. We had to ask a cabbie, and then a local, how to get back.

Yes, we had a map and directions with us. No, it's not as easy following directions when running, because your head is bouncing and the paper is bouncing and it's really easy to miss a line and to miss a line 5 times. The map wasn't helpful because all of the streets weren't labeled or included.

Fortunately, we had only averaged an 11 minute mile while running, so we were energetic and in pretty good spirits for all of this. The high hit me while we were missing the Valley Rd turn and I thought the whole situation was hilarious. We finally made it back, worried we were going to be scolded for not having our phones and for getting stupidly lost. The coaches were there and thought the whole thing hilarious (or at least acted like they did, thank goodness). As I also thought it was hilarious, it suited my mood perfectly.

I'm am thankful for C's company and conversation on the run, we went a lot slower than she (and I, honestly) would have liked, but I felt great, still had some left at the end, and I had a great time. Next time, we bring our phones.


Average pace: 10.47 min/mile (10.58)
Distance: 10.2 mi
Time: 1.49.30 (1.51.31)
Average Heart Rate: not worth putting, because it said over 200, and I'm still alive so that can't be right.

And that, friends, is how I ran my longest distance ever (to date).

We came in so far behind the rest of the team that everyone who had
met for breakfast had already eaten and left when we got there.