Monday, August 31, 2009

Life is Almost Back to Normal

So my terrible bug lasted almost an entire week. And we aren't talking, an easy cold. We are talking, hacking up a lung while you run, knock you out for the rest of the day, and kill your appetite bug. Needless to say, I have gotten nothing done since I got home from vacation almost 10 days ago now. My house is a disaster and I haven't cooked much because my husband was out of town and I had no appetite.

So at last, today life is back to normal and I cooked. I LOVE to cook. If I was getting ready to go to college again, I would go to culinary school. Yes, I know I can start over, but I am currently paying student loans for my degree and taking time away from my kids right now does not sound like fun, so maybe in the future, but for now I will be my family's personal chef. But anyways, I digress. Tonight I made stir fry with tofu in it. Since going vegetarian back in May, I have eaten tofu many times but only liked it a handful of times. Tonight, I fried the tofu in a little bit of canola oil and a tiny bit of sesame oil and some soy sauce. Yum, it turned out perfect. My stir fry had green peppers, zucchini, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and celery in it, along with my fried tofu, all on brown rice. What a delicious dinner, and my body is so happy to have eaten a normal home cooked meal and not restaurant food. I am lucky I run so much or I would have gained a ton of weight these past few weeks.

Yesterday, I ran 18 miles and 14 were at Marathon pace. I was shooting for 8:27 pace which is my BQ pace. When I was going for Sub-4, I aimed for the slowest pace I could go to get my goal time and during the race, I was easily able to go faster than needed. So 8:27 was my goal, and it was easy. EASY! I couldn't believe that I was able to run about 10 miles at 8:20 pace and slowed the last 4 down for an average of 8:25 pace for 14 total miles. The average for the first 16 miles of the run was 8:30. I slowed it down at the end, first of all, because I could, and second of all, the ball of my right foot was burning. The pain went away immediately after, so who knows what the problem was. During my run I passed a woman and she yelled out to her friends, "Young and strong!" I was very flattered, and I wish I could tell her how much she made my day. I will be 30 in December and I don't consider myself young anymore. Strong, definitely, but young, not so much.

That 18 mile run rounded out another 70 mile week, my second in August and 269 miles total for August. While on vacation, I was asked which training program I am following, since I have been running so much. I am doing Pfitziner's 18/70 program. The minimum mileage was 55 and I maxed out at 70 on two different weeks. I run 6 days a week. When I first started the program, I was very worried about the high mileage, but for the most part, the plan has been pretty good to me. I have really worked hard on slowing down on the longer runs so that I am recovered for every run. The only time I had a hard time hitting paces and completing runs was on my vacation. If I ever write up a trip report, I will fill you in more, but the heat was a killer on my vacation as was the travel. I did cut a few runs short while driving down to Florida, but did not miss one mile while in Florida, I even completed my first 70 mile week while I was there and a 22 miler.

OK, I need to get to bed, I have to get up early for my run tomorrow. Thanks for reading, and I apologize for being so absent lately.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I am Alive, barely!

Today I got an email from Mel from Tall Mom on the Run, so I thought I would update you all. Thanks for writing Mel!

I have been home from vacation since Friday, but we brought home a nasty virus. I was in the ER with my 4 year old on Monday and I have it now. It hasn't been very fun, so I have been busy getting healthy and trying to get my house under control. My husband had to leave for England on Monday as well, so my help went out the door, literally. I am still running, I did 13.5 this morning out of my 15 scheduled, but now I can barely get off the couch to feed myself.

I will eventually write something about my vacation. We had a great time and ran a lot!

Oh and congrats to No Meat Athlete and his beautiful wife! You, too, will soon see how you can lose track of time when your little one takes up all your time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

This morning, I had 9 miles scheduled with 6x800 @ 5k race pace scheduled. My car is getting ready for the trip at the shop, so I was forced to do my run in the neighborhood and not my shady trail. I planned on doing my 5 mile loop and hitting the high school track for the intervals and then running home. As soon as I left my house I noticed the heat, but continued on without turning around and getting my water. The 5 mile loop has a fun hill, but I was able to maintain an 8:55 pace for the first 4 miles.

I get to the track and set out on my 800's. Oh 800's, how I hate thee. The first 800 was easy. My goal pace was 7:19-7:24 and I hit it about 7:15, so I was in good shape. The second to fourth 800 were about the same, right around 7:20. I was really impressed with myself, but the heat was starting to get to me and I was so thirsty. I ran through a sprinkler on my rest lap and attempted the 5th 800. I say attempted, as I bonked. 8:01 for the 5th 800 and 7:56 for the 6th. I then proceeded to run home on the longest 1.5 miles ever. I was exhausted, hot, and thirsty. I think my run ended up being 9.5 miles in 1:22, an average pace of about 8:45, not bad considering I was all but dragging my butt home at the end.

I got home and checked the temperature and it was already 81 degrees and 70% humidity at 8am! This Massachusetts girl is not used to those temperatures. Moral of the story, don't forget your water on a 9 mile track workout day. I am still happy I was able to hit my first 4 intervals. I was listening to the Brandon's Marathon podcast from this week during the run and they mentioned speed work and how your muscles need to get back into running fast as they have forgotten how to do it. Since this was my first speed session of the cycle, I was happy with the results. Now I just need to remember my water next week when my 5am runs will be just as hot in Florida, yuck!

We have 3 days until we leave for our trip. I have all the laundry done, but now I have so much packing to do and finish up cleaning. Somehow I think this vacation is not going to feel much like a vacation but rather a lot of work. The kids love going to Disney, but they get tired after the first few days and then it is a lot of fighting. I am hoping we can hang out at the pool a lot at our campground, so we at least have some relaxation time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Great Customer Service!

So I am hoping I figured out my Internet problem, at least temporarily until my husband gets a new card for my computer. This past week I had my Garmin antenna attached to my computer to download my workouts. If you don't have one, it connects my Garmin wirelessly to the computer and downloads my workouts. The antenna works great, my Garmin can be in the kitchen and I will hear it downloading to my computer that is in a totally different room. Today, being frustrated as I have been for the past week, I thought about the antenna and unplugged it. Such a simple thing, but so far so good, I am on the Internet for now.

My past 2 runs have been better than great since I last reported. Sunday I did 16 miles with 12 at marathon pace. I was very worried for this run as obviously marathon pace is the key to getting my Boston qualifying time. So I shot for an 8:25 pace for those 12 miles and they were easy. Yes, I repeat, EASY! I remember my first marathon pace run in the last cycle where I was trying to maintain a 9:00 pace and it wasn't too hard and I finally was convinced that I could maintain that pace. Well after a 67 mile week, I was impressed with my legs for pounding out 12 miles at that pace. I did the full 16 miles in 2:19 with an average of 8:37. My only complaint was my new water belt. I bought a Camelbak because I needed more water. Well, I didn't tighten it enough and it bounced, the entire run. I now have 2 beautiful bruises on my back. I guess I learned something on that run.

Today I had 9 General Aerobic miles scheduled for the beginning of my cut-back week. I was feeling really drained of energy yesterday so wasn't sure how I would come out on this run. I managed an 8:57 average pace for a total time of 1:19 for 9 miles. I was cruising! I always feel like faster paces are easier after tougher workouts like Sunday's, so I wasn't surprised that I could do that. My blister was still annoying me during the run, but it is almost gone, hopefully!

Speaking of my new Camelbak, I also purchased some PowerBar gels from Running Warehouse last week. I love ordering from Running Warehouse as they offer free 2 day shipping and their prices are pretty good. Well I got my package 2 days later as promised and my box of gels was saturated with the gel. It looked like half the package exploded and everything was sticking to each other. Yuck, not fun. So I emailed Running Warehouse yesterday about exchanging them and they immediately emailed me back saying I could keep that box and see what I could salvage out of the mess and they had another box shipped out to me that afternoon! Even if I only salvage half the box, that saves me $10 in purchasing new gels. AWESOME customer service! Please don't hesitate to check Running Warehouse when shopping online for your running things.

So yeah, a slightly longer post and my Internet is still behaving! We leave for our road trip on Saturday that we are taking for our 5 year anniversary! I am really excited, but also scared for running in new places. We are staying in Maryland and Georgia on the way down and I have a 15 mile run scheduled for Maryland. I found a great trail in Orlando which will be great for my scheduled 22 miler, but the heat will be quite an obstacle.

If anyone has any good, easy Vegetarian recipes/meal ideas, I would really appreciate it! We are camping but have a stove and oven and will have a grill when we get to Florida. I am looking for ideas as we are trying to avoid eating out as much as possible. Thanks guys!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Internet, What is Wrong With You?

This entire week has been a very spotty week of Internet....I have had no updates as every time I go to post something, it goes down. Every time I start reading someone's blog, it goes down and I barely get to read it, let alone comment. Let me tell you, for someone addicted to blogging, this has been a hard week for me. I am going crazy!

My running went really well this week. Wednesday I did 15 miles on a killer hill and I felt pretty strong. My feet were killing me the rest of the week, but new shoes fixed it. Yesterday I did 13 and again felt fine and today I did 7 quick miles and felt strong. Today our humidity finally decided to drop so I credit that to my good run.

I did develop a nasty blister sometime this week, and thought I would recommend what is working for me. The blister is in between my toes, next to my big toe. It is pretty big and hurts to walk on it. I bought a pack of Band-Aid Blister Cushions on a whim, because I was desperate and didn't want to lose any training. They form to your skin, like skin and really cushion the blister. While walking throughout the first day, the blister started to feel better. On my run the next day, I didn't feel it, for 13 miles! The blister is still there, but I am able to run through it and I haven't had to pop it like I was tempted to. So, if you haven't tried it and you have a yucky blister, try it!

Sorry I didn't go into too much detail, I want to get this posted before my Internet drops again. I am reading as much as I can the rest of your blogs, hopefully things will be back to normal.

And please check out Mel's give-away for a Moving Comfort Bra!