Friday, February 24, 2012

on running "long" with a "plan"

this week has been so long. just typing that sentence exhausted me. there are some things going on, mostly at work, that have me feeling like I'm being pulling in 4 different directions all at once, all at the same time, all day long. despite that, I got some stuff done this week.
  1. I set up a little training "plan" for the Shamrock 8k in DC. (yes it's totally ridiculous to have a 4 week plan for an 8k race, shush -- that's why it's in scare quotes.) my first race ever was the Shamrock 8k in Portland, and when I moved to DC last year I was delighted to find that I could continue the tradition. that first race is also my fastest race ever (because I was running with a friend who didn't know I was slow, and I was just hanging onto him the whole race). I have dreams of knocking down that PR during a Shamrock 8k. unlikely to happen this year but never hurts to dream!

  2. said plan "plan" has me running at a specified pace pretty much at all times. this annoys me a little, but it means I get to play with my new buddy the Garmin 310-XT.** 
  3. despite my best efforts, I couldn't keep up the long run pace specified for my 5-mile "long" run last Saturday. after the marathon training, 5 miles seems pretty pathetic as a long run, but wowsers was I tired and sore afterwards. oh well, I am starting entirely from scratch again.
  4. I did hit the prescribed pace for my "easy" run. it did not feel so easy. my heart agrees:
    also I thought I only had to do 3 miles, but remembered after 2 miles that it was supposed to be 4. major sad panda -- I went from being 2/3 done to only 1/2. so I gave myself a little break at the 3-mile mark, that's the dip in HR up there.
  5. I did do 3x800s yesterday, but closer to the McMillan-calculated 800s pace than my pie-in-the-sky beat-my-PR plan prescribed.
  6. and last but not least: yesterday, on the most gorgeous day of the year and despite an early meeting, I BIKED TO WORK! booyah! another February goal, DONE! (I also biked home from work -- an exceedingly bad idea as I discovered that the bike path is unlit for the entirety of the path. and there have been some assaults in the area in the past couple of months, enough that the grad students here refuse to walk there after dark anymore. yeah. won't do that again...)
    light-as-a-feather Heather
meet Heather, my roadbike. I love her. my officemate was less than pleased when I stored her in the office yesterday. but he got over it. :) we are all a little OCD at times around just comes with the territory.

**I'm contemplating naming my Garmin. I name my cars (my first was Tommy Turtle the Toyota Tercel, my current is Cindy the CR-V, hubby has Sami the Suzuki Samurai...), my bikes (I also have Alex the mountain bike because she's a tough girl), and my skis (Flopsy & Mopsy, and Red & Scarlett). was contemplating Hobbes or Snuffleupagus (wow the internet really does not know how to spell that name!) cuz of the orange...but is that taking the naming-things/anthromoporphizing too far?? ;)

Monday, February 13, 2012

race report: love the run you're with 5k any other race report will tell you, this race was freaking cold. 23° when I left my house, with a reported windchill factor of 10°. oww. but, apparently not cold enough to make me forgo the $40 I'd plunked down for this race (WHY ARE 5K's SO EXPENSIVE???) by DNSing. so off I went, dressed in every single warm layer I owned, plus a top layer of (pink, Tweety) fleece -- pj pants and hoodie sweatshirt. yes I looked AWESOME. and I was totally not embarrassed by my own self.

ok I was. totally embarrassed. but I was warm!

thank God packet pickup was inside a building (bar). that was totally brilliant and more races need to do that. (do many races do that and I'm just unaware? I've really only raced a few here in DC...)

this is what I actually raced in.

(yes I love Tweety...) the winning article of clothing that day? totally the green "turtle fur" you see around my neck. kept my breath warm when I needed it and settled down lower around my neck when I didn't. and yes I raided my ski bag for this and other articles of clothing for this race. IT WAS 23 DEGREES OUT!

there was lots of pink at this race.

so much that I don't think I stood out at all -- hubby says he can always find me by watching for the pink shirt, but I'm guessing that would have been hard this time. not that he came out in that freezing weather to watch me run 3 lousy miles...

speaking of which? I totally don't respect the 5k distance at all. I'm just such a slut for distance, all I want to do is go longer. sigh. not that I'm any good at this distance -- I am a sloooooooooooow turtle and I even had to walk twice thrice during this race. sadface. also I had NO goals for this race, which was weird. BUT. this race was meant to give me a baseline to beat over the next few months, to encourage me to work on speed-not-distance. goal achieved. (also? another February goal achieved!)

current 5k PR: 35:00. new goal: 30:xx.

now I just need to find me some more 5k's. oh yes, and the money to register for them. ;)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

swim, swam, swum

I did it! I got in the pool! I went swimming! sadly, I can't conjugate the verb 'swim' at all:

I'm so embarrassed.

is it cheating to use nose plugs? my tri friend Chris says no, the internet says no, and I can't find anything in triathlon rules specifically forbidding them. seems like a n00b move though...but it also felt way easier than not using them. I think I just never really learned how to plug my nose by pressure, so when I don't wear nose plugs, all of my energy is spent on trying not to get water up my nose/spluttering and getting all flustered when it does.

I am terrified of flip turns. I refused to do them in my workout. that needs to change. someone please tell me they're not really so terrifying/how to do them so I don't bonk into the wall or bottom of the pool...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


poor, neglected little blog. everyone's February goals posts are making me want to do one too. but first, some updates are probably in order. ;)

1. that little half-marathon that I swore I couldn't finish? you know, the previous post on this blog (omg so long ago)? yeah I totally finished it. 2:45, and my knee twinged a lot, but always got happier after a bit of walking. so I ran-walked the, 7 miles of the half. actually I ran the last mile and passed a few people, it was loads of fun. love love LOVED that race, the course (got to the last turnaround and was yelling my fool head off because at that point I knew I'd finish), the participants (it was so small, and we run/walkers passed each other so many times, that we befriended each other a bit). woo! maybe the next time I'm bored I'll do a proper race report.

2. I ran a marathon. woo! :) this also deserves a race report, sigh. it wasn't the race I wanted. if it hadn't BEEN a race, I'd have quit and gone home at mile 3, I was that miserable. NONE of my training runs were so hard, I don't understand. I blame the extremely cold weather, which kicked off a minor asthma attack until mile 9. :( I finished, though. 6:06. and I cried when the Marine put the medal over my head. as I knew I would. I do plan to do another, but not until I get faster. UGH SLOW TURTLE.

3. I have a blood clot. probably happened a month before the marathon, when I traveled to Colorado to meet my new baby nephew, but diagnosed two weeks after the marathon. doctor says I probably tore my calf muscle, so recovery has been hampered by a) my lower leg being incredibly painful for a month and b) yep something definitely happened to my calf, it took almost 3 months to be able to run on it again. which brings us to...the end of January!

yesterday evening was basically my first run back. I think I had a 3-miler somewhere in January, but it took me 5 days to recover from that. and, perhaps choosing a track workout was not the best bet for my first run back. ;) oh well, it felt awesome to be out there again, and so many people remembered me and said hi, it was great.

so that's...the past 7 months. awesome. let's do a goal list for THIS month, to include more blogging. ;)

  • um yeah, more blogging. let's shoot for once per week.
  • ride my bike to work. this winter has been RIDICULOUSLY nice and in a few months, I'll be changing jobs and won't be able to do so anymore. take advantage now.
  • race a 5k. I've actually never run one before (started at 8k), and with my goal of getting faster, I need to also aim shorter. and talk myself out of all the halfs I want to sign up for now.
  • do a swim workout. I'll tell you a little secret: that link above points to a half-Ironman. yeah. I have the tri bug. it's bad. I've done a sprint but just with the goal to finish. I had SO MUCH FUN doing it too -- the pics of me on my bike during the race show me grinning like an idiot -- but that may have just been because I was SO GLAD to survive the swim. maybe. we'll see. my heart still belongs to running though.
that's probably enough blabbing for back to work!!