Monday, July 31, 2006

I have been sorely neglecting my poor blog here. But then again at the same time I've been slacking a bit with the running too. Last week was crazzzzy. Work was nuts. Normally I don't have to be in until 10 because we're journalist and we can't be working if no one is up for us to call and talk to. But on Tuesday I had to be at Lehigh at 8:30 to cover something and then Thursday I was at Eagles camp at 7:45 to get press credentials and there was nooooo way I was getting up to run before that.

I ran last Monday and Wed and Saturday. So I mean I guess I didn't slack that much. But I didn't cross-train like I was supposed and I skipped Thursday's run. So it really seemed like I've been a major lazy bum.

This week though we're gonna get things back to normal. I don't have any early work days, which means I have no excuse to not run in the morning before it gets ungodly hot out like it has been. If it gets to 100 degrees on Wed. I might cry a little bit. (Okay not really) I love summer, but seriously there's a point where it gets to be a bit tooo hot.

Today's run went pretty well. I felt a little bit sluggish because it was early and extremely hot already, but I managed to push through and run the whole time, and I felt really good afterwards.

As far as other exciting news, you may have all picked up on my mention of Eagles camp earlier in the post. Well I am a huuuuge Eagles fan and for my internship at the paper I got to go to camp and stand on the field with the rest of the media and then interview players afterwards. It might have been my coolest jouranlistic experience yet. It was so neat to be like three feet away from the guys I've been watching on TV forever.

And it was kind of cool because the Eagles just picked up a guy that graduated from MD the day before I was there. So I saw him all suited up in his Eagles stuff, which was pretty neat. (Note: He's been out of practice ever since with a pulled hamstring)

As far as my thoughts on the Phillies trade, I think we could have gotten a better deal for Abreu. And I can't believe just how bad we got beat today. Pathetic.

Anyway, I promise to try to update more often now that things have slowed down around here. I also promise (to myself mostly) to stick with my training plan and not slack off so much.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I completed my 13.1 miles today in about 2 hours and 50 minutes. It was a bit longer than I had hoped it would take, but from the get go I knew today wasn't going to be one of my strongest runs. I was able to run the first 5 miles fairly smoothly, but somewhere around 5.1 or 5.2 my knee started acting up. So I figured it was time to slow it down and walk for a bit.

Well that was the beginning of the end I guess. Miles 6 and 7 I was able to mix a decent amount of running in with the walking, but when I hit mile 8 it was mostly walking the rest of the way with maybe a minute or two of running during each of the remaining miles.

My hips were hurting, my ankles were hurting, my knees were hurting and it just wasn't happening today. I was really glad I was at least able to finish the distance though. It might have been slower than I wanted to go, and I might not have run as smoothly as I hoped, but I finished a half-marathon of distance today. And that seems like a pretty big accomplishment when to think the farthest I'd ever run before I started training was 3 miles.

I'm all kinds of sore now though. So it's time to go sit downstairs and get some major icepack action going on.

Friday, July 21, 2006

This hasn't been the best running week ever. I've been a major running slacker. As in I didn't do the two running work outs on my schedule because I've been soooo exhausted in the morning and it's been unbearably hot at night. So, all in all, I've been a slacker. But it was an easy week because it was tapering down to a half-marathon tomorrow. Granted I'm not running in an actual race, I'm still doing the distance. So tonight after work I have to go home and plot out 13.1 miles for tomorrow.

Interesting thought I figured I'd share. I was at the doctor the other day and I told him about this little mole that I had developed on the back of my ear. He said it was probably harmless but he wanted to remove it just in case. Well my friends removing it requires needles and I don't do well with them at all. So I had a minor freak out. Anyway I'm scheduled to get said thing removed in like two weeks ahh.

But the nurse made a really interesting comment to me. She asked me if I was a runner. I said yes. And she goes I knew it. Runner's freak out about needles. She explained it had something to do with our heart rates being lower to start with and then increasing a lot when we're around/being pricked by needles. She said a ton of runners pass out because of that. I'm not sure what I think of that. I mean I loooove to be able to use it as an excuse now. But what does everyone else think? Do you all freak out around needles? Or is that just me? I'm just really curious because I thought it was just such a strange connection.

Anyway hope everyone has happy runnings this weekend. I'm nervously anticipating my 13.1.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fun weekend. It was great seeing all my friends in MD, even the ones I only got to see for a few minutes.

I did 20 hours of yoga this weekend! 20 hours!!! That is a lot of yoga. I always thought yoga was supposed to be nice and relaxing and you'd leave all zen'd out. No way man, I was sore! And sitting in the car yesterday driving home (even though it only took about 2.5 hours) did not help the situation.

Yesterday was scheduled for a run, but that didn't happen because of being in MD and then driving home and busy busy. Today was crossing training, which I might get in, but really I don't have very high hopes for it. I am exhausted and feel like I could fall asleep at my desk at work (that would be very very bad).

Tomorrow though I'll be back on track. 13.1 miles on Saturday. I'm nervous that's a lot. An entire half marathon. Yikes. I think it's probably still supposed to be ridiculously hot this weekend so I'm going to have to wake up insanely early. If I remember I'm going to look for some gel or PowerBars and Gatorade because I don't think it'd be a very smart idea to run without it.

Anyway, lunch break is almost over. Time to get back to work.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Whew, this humidty is nasty. It feels like running through a solid wall of water. There's so little air to breathe and no breeze. Nasty. At least it wasn't sunny this morning too.

The run went pretty well. It was a short one. First run I've done since I went to the massage therapist. Holy crap, I'm finding new bruises everyday. She wasn't kidding when she said I'd be bruised and sore for a few days. Youch!

I'm mixing up my training schedule a bit and doing my long run tomorrow. The reason for bumping the long run up a day is because tomorrow I leave for MD! I'm so excited. I'm going to back to campus for the weekend to take a yoga certification. So I'll be doing yoga from 8 in the morning to 6 at night on Saturday and Sunday (which leaves little time for running...so I'll chalk those up as two awesome crossing training days). But the best part of the weekend is that a whole bunch of my friends are going to be in Md. that weekend too, including my roommate who is flying in from her internship in Lexington, Kentucky! I am so excited! It's going to be such a great time!

The only things standing between me and the best weekend ever is the awful water aerobics class I have to teach tonight (if the participants smiled once during the whole class it might be better, but they never look happy) and my six-miler tomorrow. I somehow think my run is going to be less painful than the hour-long unhappy fest tonight. Sad, but true.

Just need to get through those two things and it's a complete weekend of freedom and fun times! I cannot wait!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yesterday's run went well. I tackled this beastly hill that I've always wanted to try but was discouraged by the lack of ways to get back down (the only way is on a fairly busy road). But I thought what the heck, I'm going to give it a try and let's hope I don't get hit by a car.

It wasn't too bad until about .1 mile from the end of the road. You think it's starting to flatten out and then you get this nasty little kick up. The road is at least .3 miles, it might be more, but I forgot to clock it in the car on my way to work this morning. Glad I did that part in the beginning of the run.

The humidity was intense. That has to be the worst part of summer running.

Had my massage today. I can't say it felt good while it was happening, but everything feels much looser now. I had no idea my legs were so tight. My left leg was what had been tight and bothering me most, but I almost screamed when she started on my right IT band. Holy crap that was some pain. My right quad is a little bruised now, but she warned me that it probably would be.

I might start doing the massages occassionally now. My massage therapist said I had a lot of lactic acid build-up. Never a good thing for a runner. Massages help flush all that crap out. So, we'll see.

If anyone is in the mood for a good laugh, I highly recommend checking out the most recent post in Running in Place: Possession is Theft.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Holy crap holy crap holy crap! I just ran the entire 10 miles. I've never been able to run the entire length of my long runs. I'm so excited! I would jump up and down and do a little dance....except my legs are feeling those 10 miles right now are a just a bit too tired for any sort of dancing.

I am amazed. Seriously, I don't know how I did it. I didn't have to walk up a single hill. Not one. And I live in a very hilly place and have to tackle some beastly hills.

I never ended up finding gels in time for the run. So instead, I ate half a PowerBar before I left (not quite as nasty as I expected) and ran with a 32-oz bottle of Powerade Option (their version of Propel) and I seemed to do alright. I mean duh my legs were tired at the end, but between the PowerBar and the Powerade, my energy wasn't really lacking.

I'm also especially pleased because I was able to do the entire 10 miles in two hours. Well actually about a minute or so less than two hours. That was a big deal for me, because after I hurt my knee earlier this summer, I didn't think I would be able to recover to a 12-minute mile pace that quickly. And I certainly didn't think I'd be able to keep it up over the course of 10 miles. (I really need to get rid of all these negative thoughts!)

But I did and I'm pretty much elated at the results. And I'm not in extreme amounts of pain either. My knees are a bit sore, but I'll ice them down and that should definitely help there. My calves were tight but I stretched them out pretty good and they're feeling much better now. I didn't ice bath it after my run today, for whatever reason I just wasn't feeling the ice bath.

The rest of the weekend looks to be pretty stellar as well. I've got a graduation party to head to later this afternoon, and tomorrow some of my friends and I are going down to Citizens Bank Park to tailgate and watch the Phillies game. Should be a great time because I haven't seen any of my college friends since early June.

Anyway, I'm off to go bask in the glory of this run!

Friday, July 07, 2006

So tomorrow is a 10-miler. I'm a little nervous because that is far!!!

Last night when I was coming home from my run my neighbor (who is also a runner) stopped me and was just asking how training was going and such. I told him I had 10 scheduled for tomorrow and he recommended I take an energy gel with me and use it at about mile 5. He said they work wonders.

Figuring I'd take his advice I set out on a mission today to find some. I hit two grocery stores and a CVS and came back with nothing. No energy gels. At the last grocery store I figured I'd need something for an energy boost in the middle of my run, so I settled for a PowerBar. Unfortunately they do not taste good, but it will be better than nothing. I really wish I could have found some of those energy gels though.

So I guess I'm on a mission to find them for next week. Anyone have any suggestions on where I might be able to track some down? I would really appreciate it.

On another note, I took some more advice from a note someone left me and scheduled myself a theraputic massage for my legs. It's on Tuesday, and I'm hoping it helps. My mom recommended the lady I'm going to because my mom goes to her for something else and says she's really good. It'll be nice to finally have my muscles relaxed.

I'm enjoying finally seeing the sun again too. It seems like the rain has disappeared, at least for a few days!

Hope everyone has awesome weekend runs!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I didn't run this morning. A nice little knot in the back of my left calf wasn't going to let that happen. I'm going to try to get out tonight after dinner, so hopefully I'll be feeling better than.

In other news, I was checking out the website for the Baltimore Marathon, just to see if there were any updates or anything. And I found out they were going to have pace groups, which made me really excited, because it will be soooo nice to have people to run with the whole time who will be going at a similar, very slow pace.

I'm not a fast runner. Since my really bad knee injury last summer, I've been running between 12-13 minute miles. There's a pace group that will finish the marathon in 5:15, which if I did the math correctly is about a 12 minute mile. (If that math is really wrong I wouldn't be all that surprised).

But assuming it's correct math, I could potentially finish the marathon in 5:15, which would be a time I would be pretty happy with. So I think I will probably register with a pace group when I pick up my race packet and stuff.

I had never really considered using the pace groups before, but I don't know it seems like a great idea. And it will be soooo nice having someone help me keep pace, because it's not something I'm great at.

So that was my fun little discovery for the day!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So for cross-training today I found this cute little boot camp-like workout in a magazine and thought, what the heck I'll give it a try. It's something different. And surprisingly it turned out to be a lot of fun. I kind of felt like a little kid in gym class. It was a mix of all kinds of calisthetics (that's probably spelled horribly wrong...sorry) -- lots of jumping jacks and moutain climbers and high knees. (So much for giving my legs a break on cross training days) But it was fun. It might have been more fun if I did it outside instead of in my basement, but I slept in today (twas a beautiful thing) and by the time I woke up it was about 90 degrees and way sunny, so that wasn't happening.

And best of all, all the jumping and high impact stuff didn't really bother my knees and my calves didn't tense up too bad. Maybe all the extra stretching I've been doing has actually been helping out. So I'm feeling pretty good right about now, and have a positive feeling about tomorrow's run.

Anyway, I'm off to two 4th of July parties (must remember to not eat too much dessert to avoid horrible crashes when coming down off sugar high....see post about brother's graduation party).

That's all for now! Hope everyone has a great 4th!

Monday, July 03, 2006

After my run did not go so well today because of incredibly sore calves and shins, I decided to take some advice from the messages people left on my last post. I stretched for what seems like forever, but in reality was only about 40 minutes. I think I must have done every stretch in the book. And then I found one of those back massager thingys...and tried it out on my calf muscles. I'm not sure if it did any good, but right now as I'm sitting here my calves don't feel quite as tight.

All the same, I'm still glad tomorrow is a cross-training day that way I can rest up the legs and hopefully have a better run on Wed.

(sorry this post is so short, I really hate writing lots of negative posts, so I'm trying to keep it to a minimum. Crossing my fingers so I have happier things to write about soon)