Sunday, September 30, 2007
I'm actually increasing my mileage right now, I raced last weekend, and I went biking yesterday so there was no sort of taper. Just a...ooh crap, I overslept for my triathlon. Let me do some laundry, swiffering, dusting, dishes...Hey, isn't there a 5K a couple of miles away this morning? Google. Get on bike. Go to race.
There were cooler temps. It felt...ahhhhhhh. I was the third woman. The second place woman was 22:17. There were no mile markers, I never run hard so I had no idea of pace, and I was super afraid of bonking (my usual since I typically go out too fast). But I wasn't even hurting at the end. I wish I had gone after #2!!!!!
I also beat by 4 minutes the 57 y/o woman who beat me in the 90 degree 5 miler a couple of weeks ago. I think the heat affects me more than other people. I disintegrate.
I am so relieved to be running in the realm of fit. This is the longest stretch of running (since January) without injury I've had since ~2002. I wonder how fast I could go if I trained for this distance?
Finally, I also learned (again) not to predict how fast people are and get psyched out by what people look like. There were women in running clothes lining up near the front-and I passed them after 50 feet. Lesson learned-until the next time a skinny, barely wearing clothing runner out-psychs me.
And congrats Al (check out his race reports below!).
And given that I got no sleep because I was blowing my nose all night, was dehydrated, was racing for the second day straight, and that I didn't warm up very well because they called to line us up 15 minutes before the race started (and I actually listened, unlike the other fast people), I did OK. If the mile markers were accurate (I think they were, though the half-mile ones were off a bit) then my splits were really badly positive: 5:10 -> 5:25 (10:35) -> 5:38 (16:13), then 44 seconds for the last 160m to finish 16:57. All of those seem possible except for the 44-second last 160m; there's no way I slowed down to well over 6-minute pace for the final sprint. So maybe the third mile was even worse than 5:38. I finished second, as I predicted, behind a 40 year-old dude wearing a Poland jersey. Maybe under better circumstances I'm 7 seconds faster today, hard to say. But I still won my age division and got a $20 gift certificate to Fleet Feet, which covered the race entry fee. When you add that to the schwag from the race bag (including a $10 coupon and a 10%-off coupon to Fleet Feet), I scored pretty good profits from both of my races this weekend. Of course, the funds I got out are less liquid than those I put in, but I'm not going to complain about that. So I have a month to cut 37 seconds from my 5k to make 16:20. It will be hard, but possible. Maybe I should put some of my prize money towards racing flats. Or a Poland jersey.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Then yesterday, because of the race today, I ran one of my favorite pre-race workouts from high school: 3x400 with 3-minute interval. The idea is to start fast and get faster; in high school my goal was always 66-64-62, but I never made it. Yesterday I thought I might be able to run 68-66-64. So I jogged over to the track, did some strides, got loose, stood at the line, took off, finished: 68.9. Acceptable. Just have to get a little faster on the next one. Rested, got loose, toed the line, took off. Tried to run the same first half as the last one but kick it in to the finish. Obviously failed in one of those: 68.9. Gah. Rested, got loose again. Toed the line. Then it came to me: the advice my high school's sprint coach always gave on how to run fast. "Lead with your arms," he said, "If you run at any speed and accelerate with your arms, your legs have to follow, no matter how tired they are." Like magnetic and electric fields inducing eachother to make light. I had forgotten this for four and a half years and it came back to me just before starting this last quarter. So I resolved to go out hard with my arms leading. And I felt it. I felt it along the backstretch as I really accelerated and picked up my turnover. On the second curve I held it together better than usual. And the final straight, well, it wasn't exactly glorious but I didn't fall apart too badly, just pumping those arms. I thought, "Surely, this must have been faster. I felt so fast! Just like when I ran 55.7 on that relay split in high school!" Looked down at the watch, and it was indeed faster. THREE WHOLE #@*(-ING TENTHS OF A SECOND FASTER. 68.6! AAAAAAAARGH! "Screw the 5k, and all this speedwork," I thought, "I want to run marathons."
So today my race was only a 2-miler: the North Park River Run, put on by North Park University. My roommate had sent me a link to it while trying to send me a link to the race he was running, and I thought at the time that 2 miles would be a good distance. I was a bit sick, and didn't know what the competition was going to be like; I figured that with competition I could run 10:30. I also figured that lots of good 5k runners might appreciate an opportunity to race at a shorter distance, just like me. Some of the guys running warmups looked good. But when we stepped up to the line my hopes dropped: I was the only person that stepped all the way up to the line, while everyone else held back, as if to let the real runners through. I knew then I was going to have to lead wire-to-wire. So the race was totally uneventful; the pace cyclist led me through the course and I finished in 9:56. Which means the course was short. Because there's no way I ran just 4 seconds off of the best race of my life (senior year of high school, on a track, in spikes, with good competition, after a whole season of intense training focused for the 2-mile) today (mixed-surface race, in trainers, nobody within a minute of me, two weeks into the interval-work phase of 5k training). I probably would have run closer to 10:40 on a real 2-mile course, but that's a total guess, because I didn't see the 1-mile mark and didn't really trust the 1.5-mile mark, which had me at 7:50.
Oh, well. I guess I'll just have to give in and run big races if I actually want to have times. So anyway, they were giving out awards at this block party over by the university after the race, so I went over there, grabbed some lunch and waited for them. Then my nose started bleeding. Fortunately I had pocket-packs of Kleenex because I was sick... I went through 5 tissues and got blood all over my face, hands, clothes, backpack, and the sidewalk. Boo. So of course they wanted a picture of the winners after the awards, and I looked like I'd just come from a war zone. But the procrastination-paying-off thing: the prize for winning the race was a year membership at a health club! So by not going out and finding one, I now avoid duplication. It's about four miles west of me, which means biking over could be a nice warm-up. If they have a pool I can learn to swim now! Plus I won a Fleet Feet gift certificate so I can get one running shoe for free. And another running duffel bag. Woo.
Friday, September 28, 2007
who has entered running hell
she has fasciatis of the foot
and can't get at the root
of what is causing the problem
I'm at home full of phlem
from this cold that I have
and it makes me very sad
that she can't run the marathon with me
Why do all the good exclamation words start with a Y. After the alphabet was created, did people feel like Y didn't get enough use, so they came up with all these great Y words? Then why didn't they do that with z?
And, Y is both a consonant and a vowel. The only letter like that.
And, Y is the only letter that is both a letter and when you say the name of the letter it is also a word "why".
Oh. . . that's not true - then there is J as in "Jay" but that normally has blue jay or something like that in front of it instead of just jay.
These are the things I ponder when I mix my nighttime cold medicine with mountain dew.
Twin Cities Marathon is 8 days away!! yippeee! yikes!
I packed my gu, my race book that I must have to pick up my bib, and my shorts. I have not yet found the matching sock to my favorite pair so I'm doing laundry. Do I need to carry extra socks with me even though I don't on training runs? In case it rains? Does someone know this stuff?
I read my race book. They give shirts and medals to you after you cross the finish line and if you don't finish in 6 hours you don't get to be an official finisher and have to get on the sag wagon. That scares me. Truly, if even on my slow, slow long run days I won't be pushing 6 hours, it's the "what if's" that have started. What if my knee hurts? What if I have to walk. . .how much can I walk and still come in in 6 hours - Danielle, can you do some math for me? What if this stupid cold that I have settles in my chest and I have to cough and can't breathe?
Something's wrong with me. Seriously wrong. I am nervous 8 days early! It may not be helping that I've been taking nighttime tylenol cold medicine all day long today. I'm a little weird.
Now, I'm going to do an experiement - what if I take cold medicine with mountain dew. What will the effect be. . . . .
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
This of course has nothing to do with running. But I am all about blatant self-promotion. In good news, today at PT, she said she could barely feel the plantar fasciitis in my foot anymore and reduced my visits to every two weeks.
A small bit of background - Chris Dodd asked if there were any former Peace Corps volunteers in the audience and so I raised my hand and then he came up to me after the talk when I was hanging out with the John Edwards kids and the following is what ensued. I would like to note that Chris Dodd gives the best hugs ever!
(Note you need Real Player to see the video - stupid C-Span! My friend couldn't get the link to work on his computer, but it works on mine.)
Me on TV!
Update: Apparently this link only works on my computer. Alternatively you can go to the search page at C-span, click on the top link there (the link is the search results -it should say in it somewhere "Chris Dodd attends a barbeque") and then fast forward to approximately 1:24.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Um, that lasted until this month. B/c what I DON'T like is being slower than I used to be. And. I. Am. And I don't like it. Yes, I'm finally running in all the fall races I usually miss b/c I'm injured. But yes, I'm slow.
Basically, I've been comparing the conditions surrounding my 23 year-old self in 2003 with my 27 year-old self.
was doing speedwork for the first time in my life
a long run every week
lived in a very hilly area
set PR's at distances from 5K to 13.1 miles
[but then got patellar tendinitis that lasted a year b/c i was way overtraining]
5 pounds lighter
but my diet sucks. it's lacking in nutrients/variety
less junk food which is good
long run every 9 or so days
never run fast
weekly running mileage is 2/3 what it used to be.
live in a very flat area. NEVER run hills.
only race when it's hot.
Sooooooo. I could run more. But then I might get hurt. But I don't like being slow. I have to find some hills. I ran in a 10 mile race today. 80 degrees. Hilliest course I have been on in my entire life. 1:29. Personal worst for the distance by 6 minutes 30 seconds (and I ran the 1:22 time with bronchitis). In some ways I'm like...BOOO. This bites. In other ways I'm just like...you really can't compare this course to the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in DC in April. That is way easier and cooler. And I just need to run more. And faster. And if I want to get faster I need to put in these slower miles until I get there. Sorry I'm rambling. But I'm WAY MOTIVATED right now. BRING THE RUN!! (and for the love of god hopefully in cooler temps).
- I have 10 toes and 6 toenails.
- I have yet to find a pair of shoes that remains confortable and blister free for 20 miles.
- I foam roller four times a day
- And, this week, I've completely lost my motivation to run
Really, I have a marathon in two weeks and I'm doing everything I can to avoid running. I don't want to run. I want to sink into slothdom, eat sugar and watch movies. I psyco analize myself and wonder if I'm nervous about this marathon so am avoiding the whole running thing all together. I don't really know. I need an excuse for running to be fun again (like our relay). Any input?
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The slothfulness is starting to get to me.
The foot starts to get better but then I have a day where I walk around a lot and it kills me.
I officially have to wear a splint at night now:
(Hot! It's a good thing I'm single! Note that isn't my leg - I may get lazy about shaving, but at least I'm blonde.)
It is all rather depressing.
And I went from hanging out with runners, who mostly are a good influence on me (although Kori and I sometimes manage to eat back every calorie we burn in chips and salsa and margaritas after a workout) to hanging out with political staffers who buy me beer and are otherwise a bad influence on me (Guess who overslept after dollar pint night last Wednesday and almost missed her flight to Ithaca! Let me say that flying in the clothes you passed out on your bed in the night before is always classy! And how come, for the first time in like ten years, I actually had a plane seat next to a cute boy?)
Sigh. This foot needs to get better ASAP!
Friday, September 14, 2007
Yes, the book describes her training for the marathon and the incident in Boston. But the book also describes why she started running; the lack of athletic programs for women during her HS, collegiate, and adult years; and Switzer's profound impact on women worldwide. Her professional career directly focused/focuses on bringing running opportunities to women, but hearing her speak (through the book) about the broader impact sporting opportunities have on women and communities also illustrates the indirect impact of her work on the status and well-being of women.
Reading the book made me feel incredulous about how things used to be not too long ago, grateful for the work of people before my time, and empowered. And incredulous again. It wasn't really that long ago that most women didn't play sports. I started playing soccer and baseball AFTER my younger brother (two years younger than me) b/c my town didn't have girls teams and my parents didn't think it was a good idea for me to be the only girl. So I didn't play organized (or too many unorganized) sports until I was 9-even though my dad taught me how to play catch when I was 3. We eventually moved to a town with girls teams and when I expressed interest in my brother's soccer team my dad suggested I might like to play the following year (on a girls team). I was eventually allowed to play baseball with the boys b/c the softball program in my town was pretty awful. But years later, I'm the athlete and my brother isn't. It's still weird to me to think about the unequal start we had.
I hate to think what my life would have been like if I had been born at any time in human history other than the present. In a lot of ways I'm a perfectionist and conformist and I doubt I would have wanted (if it had even occurred to me) to be the first female little league player, EMT (still a male-dominated field b/c of its association with firefighting), lawyer, runner, etc. In addition to these recently opened doors, sports have also made me more confident and independent in all areas of my life, and no matter what else is going on, I have always athletics to count on. In a strange way athletics is a best friend to me.
So a big thank you to Kathrine Switzer and the many others who made my life and lifestyle a possibility.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I had a whole bunch of triathlon races on my schedule this month that I am just not going to. B/c I don't feel like it. I'm RESTING. And it feels lovely.
I'm in the thick of organizing my school's triathlon team. We got the school's blessing and funding last week. Since I have no desire to race, one teammate was hit by a car while bike riding, and the others didn't know whether or not we would be approved, we aren't competing this year. We are basically organizing in 07-08, competing in other random events, and then will compete in the collegiate league in fall 08 (god-willing my last year of eligibility since i graduate in spring 09.) Tonight I went to my school's cycling team's first organizational meeting of the year to recruit triathletes (and got 6!). I walked away from the meeting wanting to do some crazy bike riding in all kinds of events I don't even know what they are-except that all of the leaders of that group have crazy scars all over them. I mean, all over. Yeah, they're hard core. The tri stuff is cool b/c my teammates range in age from 27 (me) to 18. There are grad and undergrad divisions so 18 year old guys don't have to compete against 27 year old guys. How no fair would that be??
I'm also dating the triathlete AGAIN. I really shouldn't write that since I complained about him on the blog. But it's different this time. :) I write that to be funny b/c I know that sounds ridiculous. Oh well!! I'm an idiot. But we like each other!! I have to go to sleep but I am waiting to see if the contact that is behind my eyeball comes out. So far no such luck.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I contemplated trying to do the Des Moines Half-Marathon in 6 weeks, but I am pretty sure I would be disappointed in my result. I'm just one of those people who doesn't like to run a race unless she can PR (especially longer distance races). I have actually only run three half marathons (ha! 2004 Danielle would find the *only* part of that laughable), my PR being 2:15 in Toronto last year, so the bar isn't ridiculously high, but I need to be training more consistently than my foot allows now.
So, in possible pursuit of Rock Star status, WWR teammate Joe has convinced me to sign up for the Rock n Roll Half-Marathon in Phoenix in January. Registration fees go up $15 on 9/15, so I bucked up and registered.
Now I have four months to get this foot better and get in some semblance of running shape. I figure that isn't overly ambitious, right? Is there a goat I can sacrifice to the plantar fasciitis gods to expedite recovery?
Well anyways, I declare "Game on!" once again!
Aside: In somewhat convenient news, Phoenix is the weekend before the Iowa caucuses which means that I will be able to avoid the craziness that is Iowa when every candidate and their mother rolls into town. Scratch that. That was just a brave facade, as a political nerd like myself is somewhat sad that I will miss the pre-caucus hubaloo - although at the rate things are going, the caucuses will be in December! Since the odds of me being in Iowa in four years are essentially zero, I am actually really excited to be living here during this time. Go JRE!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
About an hour after we lay down to sleep, one of the vans (I'm looking at you MN RED) pulled in near us and started blaring music. All of us were unconscious before this started. I probably could have slept for a couple more hours contently on the concrete.
Kori and I looked at each other. We were not amused. When I am hungry and/or sleepy, I can be a total beeyotch, so I walked up to them and asked them to turn it off, guaranteeing that we wouldn't be getting the Homecoming Team award. They nicely obliged and I went and laid back down. Sleep was coming again then...
The Worst Effing Band in the Entire Universe
Ragnar Relay gets major boo points for not only having a loud band at an exchange where people were trying to sleep, but having the crappiest band I have ever heard playing.
We were not amused.
So we got up.
We still had a couple of hours before Van 1 was going to roll into the exchange so we just hung out, getting nervous about how hot it was getting.
Kimberly went off to be alone so that she wouldn't be mean to anyone.
I started looking at our legs and realized we had 30 miles to go. At this point, Kori and Nisha had already run three legs and Kimberly had to run 10 of those 30 miles. If we were lucky, we would average 10 min/miles, which meant at least 5 hours of running.
When Audrey rolled in about noon, it was really hot in the sun. The shade wasn't so bad actually. Audrey handed off to Nisha, who had a 6.5 mile leg. Nisha was a total trooper and walked/ran this very hot and exposed leg. Lots of people were walking as we passed them in the van. After about 4 miles, she wanted to give up and have Tim finish for her, but Kori pep talked her into finishing it up.
Nisha handed off to me for my final leg, which was 5.2 miles. I lucked out here. My last leg was pretty much mostly downhill. The first mile and a half was on city streets (including running on a dirt path that went under the I-94 overpass). It was hot, but I got to turn onto a bike path after 2 miles. That was just wonderful. It was a downhill, shady, beautiful path (that had no forks to get lost at). I totally had my groove going. A little after mile 4, I had about a half a mile of gradual incline along a major road that sorta sucked my mojo out of me, but I got to turn into the woods again for the last half mile. I did get passed by a dude in the last quarter mile, but I was just happy to finish. I did that leg at a 9:54 pace, and I felt it when I finished. It took a while for my heart rate to come back down again.
I handed off to Kori, who also had an exposed leg along the river. She finished up her 23 miles for the relay and handed off to Kimberly, who was doing her third of four legs. Kimberly's route wasn't along the road, so we didn't see her until the end of her leg. While waiting for Kimberly, I managed to score a ride for Tim back to Rochester so that I didn't have to do it. I was soooo not looking forward to a two hour trip either that evening or at 6:30 the next morning! We sent Tim off and then pretty much got on our way to the final exchange, since he is speedy! Kimberly got about a half an hour to rest before doing the final leg of the relay.
This is where the real fun began. We sent Kimberly off and stopped every mile for her. She was beat, but she had a determined attitude and was going to finish that mofo up. She was looking good the first two times we stopped for her - she didn't want water or anything. We saw her at about mile 3 (out of 5.8) and she said "give me the map the next time you see me!"
If that wasn't foreshadowing...
At this point, the route got a little crazy with all the last minute detours they had to do because of the I-35 bridge collapse. We left the river and climbed into town and there were several turns. Each turn was marked.
I pulled over about mile from where we left her last and we waited.
And we saw the runners who had been ahead of her.
Then we started seeing runners we didn't recognize.
Then we finally decided she was lost.
Nisha and I got in the car and turned around to the last place we saw her and drove around, trying to figure out which arrow she might have missed. The enormity of this task was dawning us when we got a call from Kori that Kimberly had arrived and that she and Tim were running the rest of the way.
Kimberly had missed one arrow and had ended up at the University of Minnesota campus. She tried calling the police to see if they knew about the relay and where it was ending. She called the city parks department to ask the same thing (the race ended at a park in St. Paul). She didn't have a cell phone or our numbers, so finally some nice couple let her borrow their phone and she called her husband who looked up the directions for her. By the time she found us, she was almost in tears but she totally finished up the leg, running an extra mile and a half (so 24 miles total), earning the title of Team Rockstar.
So after 33 hours, the Agony of DaFeet finished up the Great River Relay. Between Shaun and Kimberly, we added an extra 4 miles onto our race, because we are overachievers like that.
Then we went back to the hotel where there was bathing, hot tubbing, sleeping, and imbibing of blueberry flavored alcoholic beverages (blueberrytini! blueberry mojitos! yum! I also had a blueberry Naked Juice for breakfast).
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I train primarily on the Charles River in Boston which is completely flat. My tri the previous week (which included a 1/2 marathon) was super hilly. My first two legs of GRR-super hilly. My quads now hurt with each step. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Etc. Oh well. Suck. It. Up. Buttercup. My one moment of worry was when I heard gun shots and was worried I would get hit with stray bullets from hunters. This fear was alleviated when I saw I was running past a shooting range. I finally made it to my van's final exchange after 47:30 (9:30 min/mile). There was cheering. My van was happy to be done.
We bid the other van adieu (they still had hours of running ahead of them) and went off in urgent search of food. We literally did not care where we ate and got off at the first exit and went to the first restaurant we saw. Olive Garden I believe.
We checked into our hotel, showered, changed, and grabbed our disgusting team shirts as we headed back out to catch the end of the race. We would don the shirts again when we ran our last runner in and for the team picture.