Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Short silly runs, big hills, sad dog

It's been 2 weeks since the Friehofer's and I have barely run. I took the week after off so I could rest my foot. It feels much better now, although it's not completely pain free. But now it's more that I am just aware of it, rather than out and out pain. When I stretch it in certain directions in hurts more. I'm pretty sure it's muscle and not a fracture. I don't think fractures go away on their own.

After the week off I started transitioning to my new Merrell Pace Gloves. It is a brutally slow process. It's pretty much like learning to run all over again. I can only run 1/4 mile or 2 minutes for the first 2 weeks. I'm in the second week of that. Last week I ran on both the treadmill and the driveway. After I got back from my Friday evening run I switched to the Pace Gloves and ran my 2 minutes on the treadmill. On Sunday when I came back I went back out with the Pace Gloves. I want to make sure that I test them on the road, but it's such a pain in the neck being limited to 2 minutes. This week I've decided to alternate runs instead of switching shoes. I did my "regular" run yesterday and then today did my Pace Glove run. But I didn't actually run in the Pace Gloves... it's recommended that you throw in some barefoot running in the first couple of weeks, regardless of whether you are transitioning to minimalist shoes or going all barefoot. Since I was doing it on the treadmill today I wore my injinji socks, no cushioning but I didn't have to worry about the 'mill getting too hot (although with only 2 minutes I don't know how much of a worry that is anyway.)

What I'm coming from

What I'm going to

My "regular" runs have been less regular too... I'm not training for anything, I don't need to get a certain number of miles or hit a particular pace, so I've done a lot of running with the Princess in the driveway, and yesterday I put Haze on the leash (and harness) and we ran around the yard. It was the most fun I've had running, but at the same time it was sad. She's not the puppy she used to be. I remember her pulling me around on the leash, but for most of the run she was doing a 12 minute pace. I told her she was slow and she did speed up to an 8:45 but she couldn't keep it up. We didn't even do a whole mile, but it was actually pretty taxing than just a mile on my own would have been. When we were done she immediately took a nap. We never really took the dogs on the leash because we have the fenced yard for them to pee in and they always ran around with each other. But without Isaac, all Haze does is lay around. She's lost weight from not eating as much. I thought she was only eating once a day, but Vader said it's been less. But after running with me yesterday, she ate her dinner last night AND ate her breakfast this morning. So I might have to do this more often with her. It's worth it to give up my regular mileage.
This sums up her activity on most days now.

Last Friday I ran the Big Hill on my road again and it just kills me. I had thought about riding Bridget's coattails and doing hill repeats, but quickly said Uh-uh. I was curious about the elevation so I uploaded my garmin data and compared the elevation graph from my road and the Freihofer's. There's a pretty big difference in the hills. See for yourself:

Elevation from the Freihofer's. There are hills but it doesn't look like any of them are more than a 40 foot difference.

My road. I did the hill twice during this run. I must have run a little bit further down the second time. In any event, there is a difference of roughly 150 feet for the first time and 180 for the second. 
I guess now I know why I kept waiting for the "big hills" at the race. Maybe if I did those hill repeats I could break 27 next year...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Freihofer's Round Two

Sure, it's a goofy smile, but it's a smile damnit!
I am most happy that I am wearing an orange bib (slower expected finish) in a sea of yellow bibs (faster expected finish)

I outlined my goals in my last post and of them the smiling thing was actually the most important to me. I had been hoping to achieve my A goal of 28 minutes but with my foot hurting the past week I thought I would be happy with anything in the 28 range... but really expecting 29 or slower. But that still beat my last year's time of 33:18.

I came in at 27:58 (chip time). It's only 2 seconds, but it's 2 seconds UNDER my A goal. I think that's a 5 minute and 20 second improvement over last year but feel free to correct my math.

I'm pretty happy.

I ran smiling most of the way. Around mile 2 my bladder rebelled and I once again felt the urge to pee (I peed 3 times before I left the house and 2 times before the race). What's odd is that I was fine for a long time and it's just been the past few weeks that mile 2 sets off the pee-urge (no, I'm not pregnant). Always mile 2. It might just be in my head now. Anyway, I ignored it and kept on trucking. My foot felt miraculously fine. I didn't even have to pretend it wasn't there. It just didn't hurt (sure I'm icing it now and it hurt like hell walking to the car, but it was totally worth it.) I've been reading lots of barefoot runner blogs and ultramarathon runner blogs and used a trick I learned from them--it's easier to run faster than slower. When I felt tired I sped up. I guess it worked. The really funny thing was that I had been anticipating really bad hills. I've been running the big hill on my road A LOT the last couple of weeks to prepare. There was the one hill when we first started running but there are SO MANY other women it's impossible to get ahead that I didn't even notice the hill. And then the rest of the way there were some gradual inclines, but I kept waiting for the hills! After running my big hill it was EASY for me! Amazing!

It was a great race all around. My Strong Running Mama friends did great! It's so nice to run a race with good friends by your side. Okay, not by my side since they all smoked me, but you get my meaning. Our fearless leader, The Happy Runner, did beyond amazing, smashing her A goal and finishing in 22:51! I can't even fathom that!!

The stats for those of you interested (i.e future me): 1036/4142 overall; 120/520 age group; splits: 9:12/8:53/8:46 (I like it when the numbers go in that direction. Kind of easy too when you're starting out with 4000 other women!)

We are the pink/black duo because pink is the new black.
Or maybe black is the new pink.
SkyWalker and the Princess ran their own races. Unfortunately they were a couple of hours after my race, but it gave us an opportunity to walk around and eat lunch and see Andy Morse for a few minutes. The Princess's race was first and she was raring to go. In fact once she got to her mark she just started going and I had to grab her back! I held the Princess's hand (her request) for her 50 meter dash. We unintentionally color-coordinated. She was so excited and happy and smiled the entire way and really had a great time. She says that next year she will run without holding my hand so that she can try to beat me.  Once again, she insisted on showering with me when we got home.

See, he's ahead. 

SkyWalker did so much better than I thought he would. He really gave it his all and ran trying to beat me. I let him. But it wasn't that hard to let him... of course I did run a lot more before and had just run with the Princess, but still I foresee the days of my children beating me coming very soon. He was smiling and laughing the whole way and enjoying himself. He had to run further than the Princess--a whole 100 meters. He did a GREAT job. And then complained about having to walk so far to the car.