Friday, July 22, 2011

Running: hot and early

     Waking up early was not bad.  I have a weird internal clock, if I know I am suppose to wake up at a certain time I generally wake up then unless I am exhausted.  However when I feel stressed about waking up early I will generally wake up several times in the night to check the time and go back to sleep.  That said I woke up for 6 today with no problem.  Downed a few clif shot bloks an water (not too much) and got dressed and sunblocked-up.  Then I waited, and waited, and waited because my bladder apparently cannot make up its mind as to whether or not it is empty.  Finally upon setting out I realized that it was already pretty hot.  When I left at 8 am it was about 87F and at some point I checked while running and it was in the 90's with the heat index saying it "felt like" 101F.  I stopped looking at the temperatures at that point.  Today's session was week 5 session 1: run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 10 times.  I did it, but I had to rest longer than 1 minutes a few times.  It was just too freaking hot to push it, and at one point I was just trying to find a water bubbler that actually worked and that took a few minutes.  One repetition from the end I had to just stop and sit, I might have just been standing I really can not remember.  I did not stop very long, but a passing walker stopped to ask me if I was okay.  I am quite pale so when I get flushed my face goes crazy red, I imagine that I looked like I was about to pass out.  I was not going to pass out, but simply trying to avoid getting to that point.  I then realized I only had one rep left and then just went for it to get it over with.  Afterwards I happened upon a picnic table conveniently located in the shade, it even had a breeze! (Being that I do not remember it from previous runs I am 1/2 convinced that it was a magical picnic table and it will be gone come my next run)  I just plopped down and sat for a while.  I know under normal circumstances your not supposed to just stop after running, but I figured that 100F weather warranted a nice sit down.   After a few minutes rest I continued on to the water bubbler that I know actually works, filled up my bottle and went on my merry way home.  On the way home I tryed pouring water over my head because of the heat, I have heard that helps, but I poured a bit too much and it ran sunblock into my eyes.  Very ouch!
     The over all run I feel went well, I kept up a regular pace and my form was pretty good.  My only difficulties were related to the heat and that could not be helped.  I definately ended up a bit dehydrated, but I was able to remedy that fairly quickly.  This being my first real morning run I now understand the need for sunglasses, and I will have to find some nice wrap arounds.  I am looking forward to the next session, which I have not been for a while now.  I have wanted to do them, but I was not excited about the sessions.  I feel that had more to do with outside forces rather than running performance, but it is nice to look forward to running again.
Just keep running!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

a week of rest.

    This week, starting last Friday, is a 'Recovery week' and it was quite pleasant.  Week 4 session 2 was run 3 minutes walk 2 minutes, repeat 7 times, followed by session 3 which was run 2 minutes walk 3 minutes, repeat 7 times.  (crazy i know!)  I guess I will not really understand how much a recovery week affects your running until tomorrow when I start week 5.  Any one watching a weather map would notice that New England is going through a bit of a heat wave, and from what the weather man on channel 4 (I usually watch channel 7 though) tomorrow, Friday is supposed to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  I will again be attempting an early morning run meaning that I really do have to hit the hay super early tonight.  I am hoping that my run will be early enough that it wont be quite sweltering yet.  Having never ran in the morning, I have no idea how this is going to go.  I know your suppose to eat about 4 hours before you run, and hydrate about 2 hours before in order to be properly fueled and hopefully not have to use the ladies room. (which does not exist!)  If I get up at 6am and head out at 6:30am, the fueling timing does not exactly jive.  I am hydrating as we speak, in hopes that it works out.  I plan to down some clif bloks in the morning before I run for fuel.  I can only hope for the best and that if all else fails my trusty compression tights will pull me through.
     This past week, during my 'recovery' I really started to focus on what I am currently aware of as my 'running issues.'  I have determined 2 things I need to work on. 1. I run with my toes out a little some of the time. And 2. I have pacing issues.   I was actually informed of my stride problem by the nice woman who fit me for my running shoes.  It has been only the last few weeks that I have been really paying attention to it.  For all I know, I am completely messing myself up, but I have been focusing on walking and running with my feet straight.  At first it felt strange as if I were running with my toes turned in, but now it no longer feels that dramatic.  I think my turn out has a lot to do with my background in ballroom dancing.  Generally standing and moving in heels is much more stable with a turn out.  As for my pacing issue, I tend to fluctuate a bit too much.  Some times I start out way too fast, others I try to start slower and then speed up too much on the next repetition.  It wares one out.  In working on keeping a steady even pace I stumbled across my perfect pace (for the moment) and then found a meter for it.  I was running and found myself in this lovely pace and then Abba's Waterloo (in Swedish) came up on my iPhone.  The beat is exactly a perfect pace for me and if I am having pace difficulties I can just Que up this song and match the beat.  I am hoping that will help with my pacing.
     Well, I am off to have a slice of bread with some skippy (super chunk) and then off to bed.
Just Keep Running!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weird week of runs...

     This was a off week for me.  I ran and got everything done, but it was a strange week.
Week 3 session 2 taking place on Monday instead of Sunday confused my week. and session 3 was as close to a disaster as could be at this point.
   Week 3 session 3, run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes repeat 9 times.   So the actual running was fine, however a strange turn came when I suddenly had to use the ladies room.  A few weeks ago around the 4th of July there were several port-a-potties by the playground I pass running.  Now there was only one.  Now I must say that there is really no point in having them there at all if they are going to be constantly pad locked (I checked with a town employee, it is always locked).  I am not going into detail as to what I did upon determining the locked state of the portable bathroom, but I am sure eventually I will look back on this and laugh one day.   Needless to say, this event messed with my run.  I finished it, but it wasn't very pleasant a run.  I really must find a better hydration schedule.
     Week 4: session 1, run 3 minutes, walk 2, repeat 8 times.   Today's run was not terrible, just not great.  I had planned to try out running in the morning, but when I woke up at 6, and then 6:30 am I decided that it was cold and I was still tired and made the choice to stay in bed longer.  Ended up going on my run later around 5:30pm.  It went mostly well, but I was dragging the entire time.  I know the reason for this is that I went to the movies today and saw the new Harry Potter.  I also had nachos for a snack, and not much else to eat today.  This is VERY poor fuel for running.  I don't recommend it.  My running tights seem to be getting looser, which means I am ether loosing weight or wearing them too often and they are loosing elasticity.  I think it is the former rather than the later, but one never knows.
     Keep running!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Compression tights, how do I love the? let me count the ways...

     Week 2: session 2, run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes repeat 10 times.  This walk/run was the inaugural run with the new running gear, and I have to say that I love compression tights.  Seriously, I probably have very little in the way of 'business wearing them' but that's not going to stop me.  I am just guessing here, but I think that the compression aspect is good for my knees.  It was over 80 degrees out while I ran and even though I know I was very sweaty, I didn't feel like they were plastered to me. (even though they were)  I felt probably as cool as a person running in 80+ degree weather with humidity to the point that it's raining just enough to be annoying but not enough to actually be cooling could feel.  The new top I wore was also very comfortable.  It is a racer back tank and now I do not think I will be going back to sleeves until the cold of the New England fall/winter forces me to.
     It was an interesting walk/run.  Tomorrow there is a 4th of July parade and the parade route is the 2nd half of my run.  Everyone was already putting out chairs and what not to save their spots.  Dodging lawn chairs was not too bad, but it gave me something interesting to do on the walking portions and agility training on the running portions.  Once I got past the maze of lawn furniture I was finished with my training session but i still had about 1/3 of my loop left, so I added 4 or 5 more reps purely to get home faster so I could eat dinner.  The run itself was pretty easy, being a short day.
     Week 2: session 3.  run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes , repeat 10 times.  This session wasn't bad once I actually got to run it,  it just took me 3 trys.  The 1st attempt (Tuesday) did not happen because I was feeling completely awful both physically and mentally.  I was a total head case this week and I fully admit it.  Attempt #2 (Wednesday) also did not happen.  It was really hot and humid so I was planing on going for the run once it cooled down and got darker out.  A thunder and lightning storm then decided to show its head, so again a no-go.  I was also still being a total head case at this point as well.  Attempt #3 (Thursday) went well but I was a bit stiff in the knees and my left hip, and the compression tights were still awesome.
     Week 3: session 1 (I've made it to week 3!  Wicked exciting!)  Run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes, repeat 10 times. (Friday)  So running on Thursday definitely affected my long run on Friday.  I do my long runs Friday because its my day off from work so I have the most free time that day.  At this point in time its not a big deal, but i know as the program goes along the long runs get much longer and take considerably more time.  It seems to make sense that I pre-plan for that eventuality.  The running program I am following is quite specific about not running 2 sessions 2 days in a row, and while I understand why, and know better, I did it any way.  My knees totally hated me for it and decided to let me know all throughout the session, and earlier that day, and later that day an the next day, also the day after that.  While by Monday the 11th my knees were merely irritated with me, they seem to have cooled off by today.
     Week 3: session 2 Run went well, nothing much else to say.
     Horribly boring post I know, I have really got to work on making these more interesting.  I suppose the moral of today's blog post is 1: compression tights are wicked awesome, and 2: there is a reason that beginner programs tell you not to do 2 sessions in a row.
Just Keep Running!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I totally fell off my bicycle

     Today being a cross training day, I took a bicycle ride.  I am glad to report that I made all hills, including the one that I failed at the other day.  It was me or that hill, and I wasn't going to let the hill win.  I continued on my ride, happy with myself for taking that hill.  About 2/3 of the way through my planned course I was entering a busy intersection and thought it best to get onto the side walk.  The side walk had one one those slowly increasing curbs, and in an attempt to get onto the side walk, the curb won and I went down.  All the way down and completely off the bicycle.  The Bicycle was fine, only an abrasion on the wire basket.  I on the other hand suffered a few more lacerations, but not too bad.  A few abrasions on my right leg, a shallow cut on the underside of my right forearm an then the weird cut/bruise on my right front shoulder.  I have no idea how I got the one on my shoulder.  I landed on the back of my right shoulder so it makes no sense.  I know I could have gotten off much worse were it not for my years of practice falling, and therefore my knowledge of how to fall properly for the least amount of damage.  (I do not exactly have the best balance all the time)  After my fall I simply got back up, assured the passing mini van that I was fine, brushed myself off and finished my ride minus the lake loop I had been debating before the fall.  It was less the fall and more that my bicycle was making an irritating squeak that I chose to cut the lake section of my ride.  The rest of the ride was very un-eventful.
     After returning home I headed over to Sports Authority because they were suppose to have a sale on some running tops and as I said in a previous post, I need some proper and properly fitting running clothing.  I did end up with one of the advertised shirts, but being the last day of the promotion the sizing was a bit sparse.  I also found another shirt on markdown and the crown jewel of the shopping trip: Purple Nike compression capris!  What can I say, the spandex like fabric is comfortable and awesome for running.  Much lower chance of chafing.  The tops were champion, and work well with the pants.  I feel like people starting to exercise always dress quite drab and boring.  If you are going to have workout clothing, you should at least like them.  Just my thoughts on the matter.
Just keep Running!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Not going to lie, today wasn't easy.

     Today was the 1st session of week, which means 2 min running followed by 2 min walking, repeated 11 times for a total of 44 min not including the warm up and cool down.  Today's training came very close to just not happening today.  Everyone has one of those days now and again when everything is going fine and then something small pointless just destroys the day for you.  Today was one of those days.  Today is my one day a week off from work, so I  generally plan a lot of things for Fridays.  At this point i cant even remember everything i had planned for the day, but on the top of the list was going for my walk run session.  I slept in this morning,  it tends to happen on Fridays.  I got up a little late,  made myself a lovely omelet and then started to hydrate for my run.  Now this is going to sound really stupid, but someone made a stupid comment to me on facebook and that was it,  I was pissed off for most of the rest of the day.  This probably happened around 11:30am, already behind my planed time frame for starting my walk/run because i slept in.  With my mood less than pleasant I did not get around to actually running until about 2:00pm.  Once I had made my way over to the lake I walk around I then began to really hate the town officials who put the 'okay' on demolishing the restrooms they built for the lake patrons less than 6 months after constructing them because they blocked the view of the lake from the traffic coming out of the rotary. (or traffic circle or round-a-bout depending on where you hail from) I then had to walk back to the gas station I pass on my way to the lake to take care of business.  Upon returning to the lake I partook in a little more stretching and then started my walk/run session.
     The 1st 2 repetitions of running went pretty good but my mood made everything harder after that.  I also generally run quite a bit later in the day when it is cooler, so the heat and sun also did not help me much.  The remainder of the 1st half of the session I just wanted to stop running, the 2nd half I wanted to stop, sit down and cry.  I never did stop.  I kept going and ran every time I was suppose to run and walked with out stopping the rest of the time.  I was considerably slower the farther into the session I got, but I got through it, and that's what really matters.  Its was most certainly a personal victory today for me.
     I learned a few things on today's walk/run though.  The first thing being that I should always secure my hair properly.  I have very long curly hair to my waist and I generally secure it in a braid of some kind when i go running or do another physical activity.  Today I just wore it in a pony tail, and it was like I was wearing a sweater on my back for 75% of today's session.  In this heat I also understand why runners spend the extra money for clothing made from moisture wicking fabrics.  Cotton tee shirts are absorbent, but not very cool when wet.  I wear some sort of spandex like fabric pants I bought years ago that I am sure do not wick moisture.  I am going to have to start looking for more efficient running clothing, something with pockets for my iPhone.
    Today, both when I was running and walking my face felt like it was shrinking.  As if the outer skin layers were drying up and getting tight.  It was a very strange sensation.  My facial skin was fine, and I also checked my face out when I returned home and found nothing out of the ordinary.  I wear sunblock so I don't think I was getting a burn.  I hope I do not wake up tomorrow with a sunburn.  I also noticed my left hip this session.  For a few years now my left hip has often been stiff when I rise from sitting or laying stationary for a length of time.  It does not feel like a joint problem, more like a tendon or under-used muscle.  Since I have started the walk-to-run program I have not had that stiffness, thought I have been more aware of the tendon/muscle while running. Today it was especially noticeable. Unless it starts to really hurt or return to being stiff all the time, I have decided not to worry to much about it, but just keep an eye on it.
    Upon returning home I was able to go for a 45min float in my tiny little pool.  (it is super tiny, but it gets the job done)  Fully finishing my walk-to-run session improved my mood but the time alone in my back yard (save for the neighbor's puppy dog making a short visit to say hello and beg for a treat) floating around really took the edge off of today.
     I ended up taking a regular walk totaling in 2.75 miles with my parents to a local restaurant for dinner. If I had my choice I would not have chosen to walk, because my muscles were already tired enough.  I am actually icing my feet as I type this due to their soreness.  My feet were fine after my walk/run, but the 2nd walk did them in.  No blisters though.  I am very specifically trying to avoid blisters.  I know they are bound to happen, but I can try to keep them at bay.  I got very good at treating blisters and other foot wounds from my background in competitive ballroom dance, and while I am not running in 3 inch heels, I just know there will be blisters among probable other wounds at some point during this training program.
    Tomorrow I plan to cross train, undecided what activity though.  I also have plans to start looking for some running clothes that do a little more for me than just cover my body.
Here's hoping my feet do not remain sore tomorrow!
Just Keep Running!