Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Complainers at the Gym

Today I had a 9 mile run scheduled with 5 miles at tempo in between. While I love tempo runs, I like to do them at the gym so that I can be sure to hit my pace for the entire run. I tend to go to the gym a lot during the winter, my husband is worried about cars hitting me when there is no shoulder and the trails are not clear, so needless to say, all the people at the gym know me as the girl who runs a lot.

Anyways, I went to do my run today and hopped on the only available treadmill that I knew wasn't broken which was in between two other people. Yes, there were other treadmills available, but for the purpose of my run, they were broken, old outdated treadmills. So I get on my treadmill and take off. My tempo pace today was at 7.6 and I threw in inclines up to 6%, so I was working hard. Now even on normal runs, I cough. I have exercise induced asthma so my lungs are sensitive and I cough every once in a while. Well on tempo runs I cough more than normal. But we aren't talking hacking up mucus coughing. We are talking a single cough every few minutes, sounding more like clearing your throat, very short. There was a guy next to me who walked on the treadmill the entire time and didn't say a word to me. But he did say something to the front desk. Apparently he was worried I was going to get him sick since I coughed through my entire run!!! I explained to the lady that I have asthma and cough through all runs, which most gym goers know as they see me every day, apparently this guy has missed out.

So being confronted about my coughing really upset me as I am sensitive about my asthma as I obviously have no control over it, and trust me, I don't want to cough during my runs, it gets really annoying. So I started wheezing after she left as I was upset and anxiety also gives me problems. AHHH! Luckily I only had one cool down mile left to go at this point.

I clean up my machine as a very respectful gym goer does and head outside and that guy was leaving at the same time. Now normally, I would keep my mouth shut, but I also hate being criticized, so I confronted him. He of course denied it was him that reported me, but I obviously knew it was him as the secretary told me it was him. Instead he tried back pedaling and complimenting me. I asked him nicely to please next time to inform me if you have a problem and I could have explained myself or at least one of us could have moved. I mean, come on....If you were really worried about me getting you sick, why did you stay next to me for the entire hour.

So there is my vent for the day. No gym is perfect obviously, mine is one of the dirtier ones in the area, so me coughing should have been the least of his worries!

Monday, June 29, 2009

62 Mile Week, A New PR

Yesterday, I completed my 18 miler and a 62 mile week. I can now say that my legs are getting stronger as I wasn't even dead at the end of my run, nor did I feel it the rest of the day. I ran 18 miles in 2:48 minutes, 3 minutes faster than I was planning. I developed a nasty blister on one of my toes though, and honestly can't understand how I ran through it. It is huge!

I also tried out a new pair of shorts. I bought 2 pairs of Under Armour compression shorts. I am not one to wear compression shorts at all. I am super self conscious about my legs, but the chafing these past few weeks has been terrible because of the heat and rain. I am usually a running skirt girl, but I have to say, the shorts felt great! They didn't move at all, so I was able to concentrate on my new blister. I am not sure if I am totally a convert to compression shorts, because I HATE how I look in them, but for long training runs in the heat and/or rain, I am forced to wear what works.

I am impressed with the way my legs have recovered from Vermont City Marathon and to the added mileage. During the marathon I mentally was preparing for how I would BQ in the fall and I knew based on reports of message board posts that more mileage was how I would get there. Just because I knew that was the way to go, doesn't mean I was ready for the big jump. Thankfully, I have a very supportive family who doesn't mind when I take 2+ hour runs during the week and 3 hour runs on the weekend.

On a family note, my mom's exchange student went home to Switzerland this morning. My mom lives in a duplex condo with us so we got really close to her. I seriously could not stop crying this morning. My girls fell in love with her and she really was a breath of fresh air, though she did remind me how old I really am. We will miss you Sara!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Never Ending Rain

I have ran 5 marathons. I have done 3 marathons in the rain. My first experience was the Twin Cities Marathon in 2008. The temperature was in the 40s and it poured for the first 16 miles of the race. I hit the wall in the race, but had nothing to do with the weather. I did fine. Honolulu Marathon 2008 was again in flooding rains for the first 13 miles. We are talking rain that the elite athletes had to run around because it was so deep. I survived again. The second half was harder as the temperature was in the 80s and sun came out strong. The only sun we saw on my entire vacation to Hawaii. Again, I endured, rain will not set me back. Finally, the Vermont City Marathon 2009. It rained for a good majority of the race. It wasn't flooding rain, it was more annoying than anything, as the forecast was supposed to be perfect marathon weather. I PR'd in that marathon, I loved it!

So now we come to June in Massachusetts. I swear it hasn't stopped raining. I am not totally complaining, as we are having cool weather unlike the rest of the country where summer has begun in a hot way. It has been in the 50s and rain, rain, rain. Today I set out to do my 14 mile medium-long run. I again laced up my old shoes, that are killing my ankles, as I didn't want to ruin my new shoes. I hit the trail and the heavens opened up. I was soaked within the first mile. The miles went by pretty quickly, even though my shoes were sloshing and my clothes weighed a ton. I finished in 2:09 which was a decent 9:17/mile pace. My battle scars are much worse. My arms and legs are so chafed and I did use Body Glide. The rain was TERRIBLE! I am not going to pray for sunshine, because I know I will complain about my hot runs, but come on, can we have a lighter rain?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So very tired

I can not believe how tired I am today. This morning was my nephew, Evan's kindergarten graduation. His school is about 40 minutes away from my house in no traffic, so I had to get up early to get my 9 mile run in, get the kids ready, and head to Worcester, Massachusetts.

The 9 mile run was tough. It was a General Aerobic run with 10x100m strides at the end. Normally, this would be easy, but today I am dragging. I keep reminding myself on my runs that if I feel good, then I am not working hard enough. As long as I can hit my runs then I know I am doing something right.

Tomorrow, I have 14 on the schedule. I think I am headed to the rail trail. The hills these past few runs have been killing me. I love running hills but the added mileage isn't making the hills as easy as they used to be.

Next week I will be running my annual 4th of July Race. I am getting excited. I am going to work on tweaking my schedule for next week so that I am semi-rested for the race so that I can pull out a PR hopefully.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Recovery Sock Review

The cool people at Recovery Sock sent me a pair of socks to try out and review on my blog.

I was really excited for a few reasons. First of all, I always have sore calf muscles. I have been wanting to try out a pair of recovery socks to see if that would help my poor legs. Second, my family has a history of blood clots in the legs, so anything that will aid in blood circulation is a good thing and medical compression socks do not sound fun to me. First I will give you information about the socks and below that will be my review.

The Recovery Sock is a patented compression sock that not only speeds recovery from workouts but enhances workout and race performance as well.

Technical Features
A few of the functional components The Recovery Sock offers include:
Graduated Compression Technology (GCT)
Unlike other compression socks, the Recovery Sock utilizes a Patented GCT ( Patent # 6,092,397). GCT means tighter compression in the foot and ankle area and a gradual decrease in compression as it travels up the leg over the calves. GCT causes an upward flow of blood helping to get unoxygenated blood out of the leg, replacing it with fresh oxygenated blood. This not only speeds recovery after workouts, hence Recovery Sock, but also enhances workout and race performance. Athletes in long distance competitions, especially marathons, have found them particularly beneficial.
Sock Composition
The Recovery Sock is made from Silver DryStat, a polypropylene fiber which has moisture wicking and antimicrobial (silver ions) properties. It keeps skin dry in all climates, is extremely lightweight, and is stain resistant thanks to its anti-microbial treatments.
Sock duration
The life of the sock will depend on it's care and use. We suggest that they be 'line dried' in order to not cook the fibers, allowing them to last longer. Our wear testers tell us that they have found only minor wear on the bottoms of the socks - with no compromise to elasticity after a hundred use cycles.
Cold Weather
The Recovery Sock can also be worn during races and workouts. Thanks to GCT the upward blood flow is constantly functioning and blood circulation enhanced in the lower extremities. They can be worn in cold weather conditions beneath tights or in combination with compression shorts.

My Review
I LOVE these socks! Last week, my legs were suffering between the added high mileage and still being in my post-marathon recovery. The day I received my socks I was aching terribly bad, especially in my feet and calves. I put the socks on and literally within five minutes I was feeling relief in my legs. There is extra compression around the arches and ankles and of course all the way up the calves. I have high arches which I wear custom orthotics for, so the added arch support was a bonus that I wasn't aware would happen. So I wore the socks for the rest of the day and through the night. I am one who wakes up with lactic acid buildup in my calves (nearly every day) and the next morning, I had none. I almost felt like my legs had added energy. I ran 16 miles on Sunday with 8 miles at Marathon Race Pace. This is obviously a tough workout. After my run, I put the socks on and wore them under my jeans for the rest of the day and then through the night again. No pain again in the morning, at least in my calves. (I need compression sleeves for my quads.) I of course questioned the socks, thinking maybe these results were in my head, so I didn't wear the socks to bed on Wednesday night. I woke up with a cramp in my calf that took about 2 miles into my recovery run to get rid of. I am now at the end of 6 days in a row of running and 58 miles and my legs are still feeling good.

My only complaint about them is the the look, but I am not complaining, I just got comments from family when I wore them around all week saying I looked silly, but looks to me is not a problem, as long as my legs feel good. I will be ordering the pink pair soon so that I can feel a little more girlie when I am wearing them around the house.

I highly, highly recommend these socks if you are looking for a pair of socks to help aid in your recovery. I do plan on trying them out during a long run once it cools off in the fall.

Please visit the Recovery Sock website if you are interested in more information or ordering. I even am even impressed with the price, as I was willing to pay more than they were asking when I was searching for a pair for myself.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Hubby!

Recovery Sock review coming tonight, I promise!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Recovery Socks and Runs

I haven't posted in over a week. I had family in town and if I did post it would bore you, because we have been swamped with trying to get my 2 year old potty trained. She knows what she is doing but is still scared thus making it stressful for me.

Anyways, this past week I have been trying out a pair of Recovery Socks that I was sent to review and am really excited to tell you about it. I have a review all written, but I want to get some pictures uploaded so look for that review tomorrow.

On the note of recovery I wanted to talk about my recovery runs. As I have learned in the past few months, running slower has been the key to getting my mileage in. I hate seeing a slow pace on my Garmin so I speed up and then I feel the results of it later on, big no no. So this week, I have been focused on hitting my paces and to incorporate a good recovery. I did 11 miles on Tuesday, 13 yesterday, and today I had a 5 mile recovery run scheduled. Based on last week's sore legs, I was ready to skip today's 5 mile run. Between my new recovery socks and slowing down, I can say, I ran a very slow 5 miles today and my legs feel good, as if I didn't run today. I also did the run on the treadmill, so that my feet could avoid the pounding on the pavement. I have been worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with 6 days of running every week, so this is my test. So far so good, and I will be able to report more after my long run on Sunday. So slow down and don't be afraid of that slower number!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

eat, drink & be vegan

Last week I bought the cookbook, eat, drink & be vegan by Dreena Burton. I have been reading about the cookbook on many foodie blogs and have seen many recipes that looked delicious so I thought I would try it out.

I am not a Vegan nor plan to eat like one. My goal in buying the book was to find healthy vegetarian recipes for my family. Since I cut meat out of my diet, I have struggled to get my required amount of protein in. This is obviously a problem with the amount of running that I do, so I hope by finding vegetarian cookbooks, that I will learn how to cook with more protein without using meat.

I have only had the book for a week and I have already made so many things out of it. The first recipe I tried was the Blackened Tofu. I am not a big fan of tofu. I put it in my Green Monster smoothies so that I can add more protein without tasting it. The Blackened Tofu was delicious! It was very spicy and really made the tofu taste good. There is a whole chapter for different types of hummus, which I have been topping all my salads with, so that was an added bonus. Today I tried out the Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas and the Super-charge Me! Cookies. The chickpeas were delicious on my salad and could easily be eaten as a salty snack. The cookies are in the oven right now, but I can tell you the batter is yummy.

Overall I am very happy I bought this cookbook and have a list of things I can't wait to try. Thank goodness for blogs as I would have never known about this awesome book and the great food you can eat without eating meat.

Monday, June 8, 2009

100 Push ups and 200 Sit-ups

My goal this training cycle is to really work on my cross-training and core work. I am very weak in my arms and my tummy could use some work.

Bobbie at N Her Shoes has begun the 100 push up and 200 sit-up challenge and has challenged her readers to join with her. I started the 100 push up challenge in February and was doing great, but went on vacation and quit. So I have restarted and also joined the sit-up challenge.

The websites are located here:

100 Push Ups Challenge

200 Sit-ups Challenge

I took the initial test today. I was able to do 60 sit-ups and 18 push ups. Pathetic, I know, but I will admit I could only do 7 push ups a few months ago on the initial test, so I must be stronger.

For my cross-training, I am going to continue to do the elliptical machine. We have had an elliptical machine for about 5 years, and hardly used it until recently. It is in my loft of my bedroom and I bring my TV and Apple TV up there when I am ready to work out and can usually go for 60-90 minutes. I think I may rent "He's Just Not That Into You" today, so will probably last closer to 90 minutes. I LOVE Apple TV. Now I just need to figure out what I can distract the girls with so I can have some free time to work out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First 10+ mile run since marathon

So today I got back on the wagon and ran 15 miles. The marathon was only 2 weeks ago, so I should have been only running 8 miles, but I have been feeling good so went for the 15 today.

The first 4 miles I was able to warm up and was averaging around 9:20 pace. My goal was to stay under 9:30 today. I am planning on my long run pace to be faster this cycle, but I am waiting until 4 weeks out before I push myself too much. After 4 miles I increased my pace a few seconds per mile until I was just under 9 minute pace and held that for the rest of the run. I was completely amazed with myself, I didn't think I could go that fast this soon after Vermont. My average pace for the 15 miles was 9:09, perfect! I ran on the Nashua River Rail Trail, my favorite place to run when there isn't snow on the ground. I think I saw more turtles than runners today. Ever since getting bitten by the dog in February, I am scared of any animals, so I was jumping to the opposite side of the trail when the big turtles were around, yes I know crazy! Avoiding bikers is my second favorite thing to do, I think I made one mad when I was passing a walker and forgot to look behind me. I forgave myself as I was on my last quarter of a mile, though I am sure he didn't forgive me as easily.

And on the home front, my baby girl is potty trained! We finally had success this morning. She has been peeing great for four days but was holding out on us until this morning. But she has it down and I can now pass on the cloth diapers to her cousin. No more diaper laundry! I am a happy mommy!

Friday, June 5, 2009

So Much for Recovering and Goals for this Cycle

So on National Running Day, I knew I wouldn't just run my recovery 5 miles. I decided to try out a new pair of shoes and see how my legs felt. If I felt good, I would try for me. Well I got in 7 really good miles that day. Really good in that I progressively went from 9:15 pace all the way to 7:55 pace for my last mile. My legs felt great after so I went for a recovery 5 yesterday and will do 9 General Aerobic miles today. So I am officially in my training program for the Twin Cities Marathon. Now we will see if I can handle this big of a program, if not I will scale back a bit if my legs can't handle.

Yesterday, on my run, I was thinking of goals for this training cycle. I will set my goals today and re-visit them just before and after the marathon.

Goal A--This is a long shot, but I want to qualify for Boston. I need a 3:40:59. This would drop about 15 minutes off my marathon time. This is doable, but I am thinking this will happen next May, but can hope for October.

Goal B--3:45. I think this is my best bet. I know I had more left in the tank after Vermont so think that I can drop 10 minutes off that time.

Goal C--3:50. Like I said, I know I had more left in the tank, and think I could have ran this at Vermont if I wouldn't have held back. I only put this here as if I go for BQ, then I am hoping if it isn't going to work and I blow up that I still get a PR.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Potty Training & National Running Day

I would rather run another marathon today, with sore legs and all, than potty train my 2 year old. She is doing great, so that isn't the problem. It is the constant worry that she is going to pee all over my new carpet. She only had one accident yesterday, and I wasn't even home at the time, so I call that a success.

Today is National Running Day and I would love to say I get to run at least 10+ miles, but I am still in recovery. My schedule calls for 11 miles today, which I know I can handle, but don't want to think about how sore I would be tomorrow. My knees seem to be the most affected from the marathon. I really need to get on the ground with the foam roller and roll out the muscles, but have you done that yet? It is so painful! Yes, I feel pretty good after, but seriously, rolling on the muscle twice is all that I can handle at this point. So 5 recovery miles it will be for me today.

Happy National Running Day everyone!