The Bee’s Knees

Yesterday I finally, finally, finally got to do a double digit run.

Yes I spent some time flirting with a bunch of 9′s, but I haven’t hit it off with a 10+ since last November.

back-bay

Dear Back Bay, I love you *THIS* much. Love, Me

Take that legs.

Actually, it seemed my body and nature were doing everything they could to rain on my parade (okay not literal rain, this is SoCal I’m not quite sure I know what that rain stuff actually is), but I pushed through.

Saturday night food allergy reaction kept me up a bulk as it felt like I had swallowed 1,000 angry kittens who were working their way through my GI tract.  My gut left me with a late start meaning I got to run in peak SoCal “spring” heat.  While I love the 80′s when it comes to music, it’s just not overly awesome to run in.

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Rocks tried to trip me (no seriously rolled off a face plant in front of a bunch of people, Mary Lou Retton would have been proud) and a giant swarm of thousands of bees tried to keep me from finishing, but alas my legs won.

Post-run cool down/cross training with some paddle boarding and then…. well…as all good things do end – carbs, pink sauce & red wine.

IMG_6084What are your challenges to getting miles in lately?

Have you ever seen an angry swarm of thousands of bees?
It’s seriously frightening…like low blood sugar 2 year old before nap time terrifying.

Personal Space

About 3 months ago I came home to find that the gardeners had completely and totally pruned back my rose still flowering rose bushes.

<sad face>

It was around that same time that I really started scaling back my running and trying to get my SI joint in place, get my hammy shaped up, etc.  I felt like a loser on the Bachelor because I wasn’t getting in any good, long runs nor the final rose.

But alas, the other day hope started springing anew.

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Ironically I found this on my way home from my first “long for me” run in a while.

Can't find a better place to long run...

Can’t find a better place to long run…the bottom of that hill gives you about 2 miles of flat sandy shore

My goal:  10 slow miles

Given that I’m still recovering I chose, a nice flat (only 265 feet of incline over 10 miles) and soft surfaced place to run.  I did a majority of the running on packed sand which meant a lot of laps up and down the beach (about 4 loops) hugging the full moon induced exceptionally high tide while dodging the leisurely beach strollers.

Hammy pain – nil
Exhaustion – nil

Despite feeling like I could run for 14 miles, after 8.5 miles I just started feeling a little tight in the legs, so I decided to call it a day and not push it too far

The Results:  9 miles with a nice leisurely 2 mile stroll on the beach- 1 mile in the icy cold Pacific whirlpool to recover.

IMG_5848In the ol’ recovery log, the speed at short distances had been picking up nicely (not 100% recovered, but about 80%) and to get a long run in under my belt made me feel pretty relieved, and quite frankly, a little more human.  I’ve had my eye on getting a half in the last weekend in March, so we shall see how that progresses.

Does it feel like spring is 6 weeks or 6 months away for you?

What’s your favorite place to run these days?

Going The Distance

10 miles running
2 miles walking
~8 min miles

Still Got It Strides

The other day I’m pretty sure I uttered the words, “I couldn’t run a half marathon if my life depended on it.”

I think I told the boys I’d strap them to the top of the car for the ride home f they didn’t listen at Target, so let’s not go too crazy reading into it.  I mean, if there were cupcakes involved or my children were in danger, I’m pretty sure I could have busted out 13.1, but in my mind there was no way I was in shape to handle it.

Let’s face it – 5 mile runs have been exhausting and have felt like 20.  The miles are paralyzing and thanks to some humidity and craptastic fueling, I actually called the saggin’ wagon only 4.5 miles into a run this week.

Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 1.00.03 PM.pngI woke up feeling rested – pounded some caffeine and carbed up ready to see what the morning held.  Let’s remember, I haven’t run double digits in one session in months.  

Since I was feeling a little masochistic, I went out to a nice, hilly route and waited to see what happened.

Miles ticked by 3, 4, 5…still feeling alive.

6, 7, 8…still feeling great.

Just before 10, called it quits so I could do it again.

Honestly, I know that endorphins and runner’s stupidity could drive me to go further than I should, so instead I decided to power walk for a few miles the rest of the way home.  No need to get hurt.

Crazy Runner's High

Crazy Runner’s High

This only reinforces my “morning’s are best for me” running mentality.  Afternoon running will work when it’s necessary, but let’s stick with the morning as a preferred time to get the miles in.

When do you run best?

Have you had to call the saggin’ wagon this summer?

Elusive 20

Friday – 6 miles hill repeats
Saturday – 19 miles running, 2 miles walking
Say What? Strides

It’s now T-4 weeks until Bean Town.  And honestly, I was (am?) feeling woefully unprepared.

In an ideal training world, I would have at least four 18-20 milers under my belt by this point in time.

On Saturday, what did I have?  Oh yeah, that’d be a nice, round…err…ZERO

I set out for my long run this weekend hell bent on finally getting in an 18+ mile run.  I haven’t hit any of them and thanks to mother nature, illness and poor planning, each of my 13+ mile runs have sucked.

And the 15-17 mile runs I’ve had have ended with my legs acting like Vanilla does when we go out to dinner:

Fatigue, party of 2.

Fatigue and crabbiness, party of 2.

SUPER encouraging.  SUPER.

This weekend’s goal was 20-22.  I only got 19 in because my IT band was pissed off and led to general misery.  Minus the pain – I felt great.  Wait, what?!?!

Honestly, minus the pain I felt I could have easily gone another 3-4 miles.

Huzzah?  Who’s legs are these?

I’ve got one week left to get another longer run in and I’m waiting to see how my IT band is to decide what to do.  Honestly, my whole goal for Boston has been to go healthy.  I don’t want to come this far to blow up now.  The name of the game this training schedule has been improvisational training, so why quit now?

Where’s your fatigue wall these days?
Lately it’s been around the 11 mile mark and I just have to push through.  For some reason 5-6 has been ugly too.

What races is next on your list?  Tell me about your training and goals!  I need some final motivation!

Can and Can’t

After plenty of derailing, I’m working on getting Boston training back on track.
In 8 days I got 49 miles in, which is right where I need to be.  In addition I learned a lot about what I can and can’t do.

I CAN do this brutal workout.

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Well, I’ll certainly feel THAT tomorrow…

Somehow in the middle of my run, I decided it would be a genius idea to run to the top of a really hilly trailhead so I could get a glimpse of the ocean.  Brilliant.

I CAN’T make this noise

My kids have been trying to teach me this sound forever.  All this mama wants is to be able to sound like a machine gun like all of the other moms do.  But apparently I’m deficient, defunct, devoid of any and all skill making me able to do this…well until my coach gets to me at the end.

I CAN mentally psych myself out
During my long run I spent miles 1-5 berating myself and thinking I’ll never be marathon ready.  It was exhausting.  Miles 5-12 were fabulous and I was all “I can do this!”.  Then miles 12-17.5 (which were straight into a 30ish mph headwind) I cursed the day I started running and my head was filled with fears of walking 13 of the 26.2 in April.

I CAN’T mentally psych myself out
Game on.  If I’m going to do an unideal 26.2 training I need to remember that I’m my own worst enemy.  Must. not. let. brain. win.

I CAN prop up my legs post run.
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For what it’s worth I didn’t get much time right after my run due to soccer games.  Instead, I made my way through the Oscars legs up, kids wanting to see who won our selection contest.

I CAN’T expect my children to be normal while I rest.
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Any time I sit down for a few minutes my kids utilize this chance to grab my full attention and have some fun with it.  For the record, my son had said something that I misunderstood for “sexy shoes” which was very confusing for me.  He decided to show me what it meant to wear sexy shoes.  Apparently if you’re wearing heels, you should really pair them with shinguards and knee high socks.

What CAN you do?

What CAN’T you do?

Almost Long Running

10 Miles
Chatty Strides

After a week of triple digit body temps, to say I was NOT looking forward to a long run was an understatement.

Luckily, Sarah and Kristina were kind enough to join me for an early Saturday spin around the Back Bay.  If any of us had been good social media folks, we would have taken pictures.  Instead we talked about really important things like copious candy consumption and rockin’ Valentine’s Day gifts like tool boxes and candy from office candy jars.

Instead of a running picture, I’ll just show you the best Valentine’s Day present I got.

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I set out hoping to do 14-16, but it just wasn’t in the cards.  My body was wracked, fatigued and I was sporting a cough that would make any emphysemic pack a day smoker jealous.  Not to mention the thought of food for the entire week before made me as green as my super awesome socks, so I was lacking in the fuel department as well.

After 10 miles of running I started hacking up a lung and Sarah and Kristina gave me over to my car and wisely told me to tack on a few miles mid-week to make up for it instead of setting myself even further back by foolishly pushing through.

I celebrated with a calorie binge at Jamba Juice and then took a nap.

jambaDid you have any fun weekend plans?

Do you have local peeps you can call to participate in a long(ish) run with?

Ride ‘Em Cowboy

14 Miles
Startling Strides

Sunday was my second valiant attempt at a longer run.  I’m not going to sugar coat anything.  Since the amazing runs of December, leading to a big PR mid-month leading to about 3 weeks of nothingness, well….

I haven’t had a good run since. 

It’s completely disheartening.  I’ve been in slumps before, but usually after 2-3 weeks I can at least pull a decent run out of my behind.  And speaking of behinds, let me explain why this run was a bust.

[please note, this is gross and personal...intrigued? read on. disgusted? stop right now]

I should be ashamed of myself

I should be ashamed of myself

You know that phase, it really chaps my ass?

Well, I learned what it mean to have a chaffed ass.  I have faced a lot of pain running – pushed through pulls, tweaks, etc.  But when things got a little, err…uncomfortable in the southern hemisphere around mile 12.5 I thought it was no big deal to make it the 2.5 miles home.  By mile 13.75 I called for a ride and by mile 14 I was walking down the side of the road awaiting my chariot like a cowboy who rode from LA to Vegas on his horse.

Everyone in the car laughed watching me waddle down the street.

It’s okay, I might have laughed too.

I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone.  When I literally say I could not run a single step further, there is no ounce of exaggeration in that statement.

So there’s a first time for everything.  

The best part is that when I got picked up, I was asked if I should have used BodyGlide.

Me: I  don’t know…I’ve never had an issue like this before.  

A little back story on the body glide.  Last summer, Strawberry won a stick at a Road Runner Sports night and I quickly confiscated it from him.

Icing on the cake?  At Road Runner VIP night Strawberry did an 8:00 min timed mile and then won the prize every 7 year-old dreams of - Body Glide. The best part of it all - explaining what Body Glide is used for.

As this conversation about appropriate places to put BodyGlide and how exactly does one’s bum get chaffed is taking place, a little voice from the back seat chirps up chiming into the conversation.

Strawberry:  Uh, well if that’s the case, I certainly don’t want that Body Glide back from you mom.  Thanks.

Ahhh, out of the mouths of babes.

So the saggin’ wagon picked me up, because my butt hurt.  How about ‘dem apples when it comes to excuses to not finish a run?

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve chaffed?

Have you ever stolen something from your kids?

Best Laid Plans

A few 5 milers
Some Spins on the Bike
Frozen Solid Strides

I’m still hanging in Chi-town.  And let’s just say nothing is exactly going as planned.

A fun-filled healthy week.

Flu – party of two.  Pneumonia – party of one.

IMG_3800Goodbye high mileage runs.  Hello handful of 5 mile runs in the wicked cold (a slight nod to  Boston there…).

In addition, my sister and I tried to go out for her belated 30th birthday dinner.  My niece selected my jewelry…don’t you love it?

IMG_2741World’s best She She necklace.  Sadly, the world’s worst Mexican food.  Luckily the meal ended with a candid conversations with the owner and we left hungry, bill free, and wielding free tequila.  Still not sure how it happened, but it sure was fun.

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Dirty 30 be darned…we shall not feast, but we shall celebrate!

There were a lot of disrupted plans.  In fact, this week I’ve spent a significant amount of time trying to decide if I should continue forging ahead with full marathon plans in 5 weeks.  I’m nowhere near ready…mentally, physically, or enduranceally (my new word!).  Those mental conversations with myself have left me frustrated, flustered and flummoxed.

So instead, I’ve looked at the last week’s events and trying to remember that sometimes, it’s not the end of the world when things don’t go according to plan.  My race schedule will work itself out, I won’t totally bomb Boston if I don’t get a marathon in before then, and sometimes life gives you limes and you get free tequila.

What best laid plans have been disrupted for you lately?
What’s your favorite naughty beverage?

‘Cause Tramps Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Run

17.5 Miles
Super Giddy Strides

Last Thursday morning I snuck in about 4.5 miles…due to scheduling constraints they had to be faster than I’d like on hills.

As I cruised, I mentally lamented about the fact that lately…it feels like all of my runs lately…well…

they suck.

My legs feel like lead, my mind is in another place, 1 mile feels like 3…and it’s been a while since I had a good old fashioned, endorphin raising, “Ahhh this is why I love this” kind of run.

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Dear Trader Joe’s, Your cookies are amazing, but because of your overachieving you’re destroying my marathon training.

This probably has something to do with the foundation I have laid lately which includes things like:

-Not spending time stretching, rolling, etc.

-My food pyramid looking something like: fruits, veggies, Christmas cookies, protein.

-Lack of sleep

-High stress

But Saturday…oh Saturday long run, you changed that.

For all intents and purposes, it should have been a terrible run (more on that later).

But, it turns out, my body and brain weren’t about to let that happen.  I went out at an 8 minute mile and had to literally slow my body down with some coaching (“Um, Sheila, there’s still like, I don’t know 17 miles or so ahead…take a chill pill“) and settled into a nice 8:30 pace spot on for about 13 miles…and then somewhere around there I just picked it up and kicked it in high gear for a fabulous negative split long run finishing with 8-8:15 minute miles.

Sunday morning verdict:  Tired, but not really sore.

Good girl.  A long run “push” at an appropriate pace.  I’ll take it.

And because the magic of my morning’s long run needed to continue, the boys and I bumped into this pretty little fella on the way home.  Ain’t she a beaut, Clark?

IMG_2585Have you had any magic runs lately?

What was the coolest thing you saw this weekend?

The Little Engine that Tanked

15.4 Miles
Just When You Think You’re Awesome You Remember You’re NOT Strides

Yesterday I was all set to head out for a nice 15-miler.  I was dressed, hydrated, filling my water bottles and ready to head out the door when I got a text from a friend.  Here’s the short version.

Missy:  Want to run tomorrow?
Me:  I was just about to head out for 15, would that work?
Missy: I  would love to do 15, [insert details]

The old proverb says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”, but let me tell you, “A long run deferred makes the heart happy”.

When we met this morning she informed me of her hopeful workout – run Top of the World trail and down, and then do some 3-5 minute pickups X 6.

I kind of peed my pants a little at the thought, but pretended I thought it was brilliant idea since one day I’d like to run 1/4 as good as her.

The first two miles are easy peasy then we hit the 2-mile 1,000 foot incline.  Hi, isn’t walking and trying not to die fun?

See those cute little runners on the right overlooking the ocean (the other side pictured on the left overlooks the valley which had beautiful mist & haze in it this morning)?  I’m pretty sure they were surprised that the awful wheezing, barking sound behind them was not a dying animal, but a scrawntastic woman trying to run.

Hello 11 minute miles.  It was super not fun.  Let’s not do it again anytime soon.

After we wrapped up the 8.2 miles up and down our little mini-mountain, I fell for this idea of doing 3 minute pickups X 6.  For the record, I lasted 2 before my achilles staged a revolt and I just settled into nice 8-8:30 minute miles for the last 5 miles not wanting to push it, and trying not to throw up.  Missy did her pick ups and jogged back to me to catch up as we finished up the run.

That’s why she can run a sub-3 hour marathon and I can’t.  And I think I’m okay with that.

But I did finish feeling like the little engine who couldn’t.  Apparently I’m not ready to run with the big girls for more than 6-8 miles yet.

Naturally you’re probably wondering why I’m wearing that weird shirt with a chimpanzee on it.  By the end of my run I couldn’t handle my runny nose any longer so I took my shirt off and used it as a hanky. NBD.

Oh wait, except I couldn’t run into the grocery store for bagels without one.  Luckily my son had left his shirt in the back seat so I got my snack on.  Saved by the 7-year old boy.

Do you have a fun running buddy?
Have you ever been the slow kid on the block?
What’s your favorite post-run food? 
I literally daydream about bagels on long runs.