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Going Long

15 Aug

NOTE: I am working on an “I’m back, here’s what I’ve been up to!” post but I really wanted to put my thoughts about my run this weekend on “paper” before I forgot the details. So let’s pretend that that one comes after this one. Awesome? Awesome.

Marathon training has been … interesting. I feel like it is both Week 47 and Week 2 all at the same time. When I was studying, I was getting the runs in but I wasn’t really focused on them. I finished and that was it. All things considered, I only missed 2 long runs (the weekend before the bar & the weekend after). Certainly not ideal, but much better than I thought I would do.

I had done a couple of 10 milers and they had all felt pretty good. After the Half That Shall Not Be Named, I started to get a little concerned about hip pain. Running on concrete causes some pretty not awesome pain in my hips, particularly the right one. Most of my training runs have been/will be done on concrete. This is because of a combination of weird issues I have with certain trails around LA, a general lack of access to running paths and my laziness – I like to be able to run right from my apartment. A friend of mine has issues with her knees and she switched to a run/walk plan which she said really helped her. She suggested it might help with my hips.

Now. I have mixed feelings about this. I would love to one day run an entire marathon without walking. In fact, that was my original thought with Long Beach – that my goal would be to just run the whole thing, no matter how long it took. But my hips were hurting so much after my “long” runs, that I decided to try the run/walk plan. I run a mile, then walk for 45 sec. to 1 min. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s been pretty phenomenal. I’ve been finishing my runs with almost no pain in my hips and I don’t feel like I’m going to die at the end of every long run. I’ve only been using this plan for my long runs – anything less than 5 miles, I run the whole thing. Anything less than 10, I take my walk breaks every 2 miles. So far I’ve been really satisfied with it.

Yesterday, I had a very scary 15 miles on my schedule. I knew this would be the farthest (furthest? farthest? this is why I wasn’t an english major) I’d ever run. That right there made me exceptionally nervous. I’ve also been running a lot faster than I used to and, in the back of my head, I though about the idea of checking my half marathon time. I’ve never run a “good” half. My first I was super injured and my second Shall Not Be Named. But I’ve been running really well lately, and I was curious to see just where I was. So I had all of these issues running in the back of my head.

Spoiler Alert

There’s also a ton of planning that goes into running 15 miles. Did you know that? I didn’t. At least not at first. But as I was eating my carb-y delicious mashed potatoes on Friday night, it occurred to me that I might have some problems. I couldn’t find my “long run socks” (because yes, I have “long run socks”). On last week’s 10 miler, I noticed the beginning of some chafing at my sports bra line that I wanted to stop before it started this time. And, most importantly, I was worried about hydration. I have an awesome hand held that I’ve been using that’s been getting my through my 10 milers, but only just. I’m completely out of water by the end and I didn’t want to have to run my last 5 miles without water. Because I just run on city streets, there aren’t any water fountains.

Then, genius struck (I’m not just pretty, I’m humble too). I plotted out a route that hit my gym at mile 9.5. That way, I could refill my water bottle and regroup if I had to. See, genius! Sure, there were some super monster hills that I would have to tackle in the last 3 miles, but if I absolutely had to, I’d just walk up them.I headed to bed feeling really nervous about the whole thing.

When I woke up, I had 1/2 a bagel thin with peanut butter and 1/2 a cup of coffee. I grabbed my Garmin, Vaseline-d my sports bra line (TMI? maybe.), popped in my mp3 player and headed out. It was overcast and cool, always a good sign. My first 3 miles were part of my standard weekday route, so they were nice and comfortable. I hit the first hill between miles 3 and 4 and powered up it like a champ (see, humble). I stopped at mile 4 and had my first Gu – strawberry banana. In general, I really don’t care for strawberry banana as a “flavor” but my mom sent it to me in a care package and I wasn’t about to turn down free anything. It wasn’t awful and I couldn’t taste the banana at all (which is generally what I don’t care for).

I ended up having to go under 2 freeway underpasses. The first one was fine, the second was a little unnerving. I generally don’t have a fear of “bad neighborhoods” – growing up in one will do that to you. Still, there’s something about overpasses that make me a little nervous. These were definitely my fastest miles. I also encountered a ton of yard sales that basically took up the entire sidewalk, forcing me to run in the street. I was running on Venice Blvd, a pretty busy street, so this made me really uncomfortable. A couple of years ago I was hit by a car and ever since then I’ve been a little skittish. Note to self: start earlier or pick another route.

I took my second Gu a little late – the start of mile 9 because I had completely forgotten about it. I stopped the gym at mile 9.5ish and refilled my water bottle, then headed on my way home. Several interesting things happened in the last 5 miles. I had planned on taking another Gu at mile 12 but my stomach wasn’t loving me. I decided I’d rather just power through rather than try to force anything down. At the same time, my mp3 player died. I think it got wet from all of my exceptionally attractive sweat. Regardless, it appears to be officially deceased. Sadface. I definitely didn’t like the idea of running the last 3 miles without my mp3 player, but there wasn’t much I could do about it.

I also remembered to look down at my Garmin as I hit 13.1 and saw that I was just over 2:24. I was completely flabbergasted. That’s an almost 30 minute PR. I knew I was in much better shape, but that was an amazing feeling. Seeing that number gave me the burst I needed to power up my last hill and finish as strong as possible. Sure my last 5 were way slower than the first 10. Sure, I lost the chafing battle (no low cut shirts for me for a while). Sure I dealt with weird stomach issues for the rest of the day (I wasn’t hungry at all. weird). Didn’t matter. I was so proud of myself for what I had accomplished that it was all worth it. This feeling is why I run.

And that, dear friends, is the saga of my longest run ever. How was your weekend run?

Flying Electronics?

28 May
Day 2

Ran 4 miles – 45 min., little bit of hamstring/hip tightness

Now that I’ve decided to run for 40 days in a row [well, 38 now!], I’m hyper aware of the little things that bother me during my runs [like my socks]. Today, my socks were fine, but my entertainment was a bit of an issue. My super awesome fabulous sister got me an iPad for graduation and I’m a little bit obsessed with it. I love watching tv shows while I work out because it makes the time fly, but with my little iPod touch, it’s hard on the treadmill. I end up squishing way too close to the display and my stride gets all funky, and it’s no bueno. But the iPad is amazing [for other reasons too, but clearly for the keeping me distracted]!

Here’s my issue. I’m petrified that I’m going to fling it off the treadmill. I’ve lost many an mp3 player that way. In fact, I usually buy really cheap non-iPod video players for exactly this reason [the touch was ANOTHER present from my super amazing sister]. I don’t know if it’s my height or if I move my arms funny or what, but invariably at least once a run, my hands get caught in the headphone cord. Most of the time, I can catch it before it comes tumbling to the ground, but certainly not always. Anyone have any suggestions on how to keep my cord out of the way and my iPad in working condition?

Also, I had to go to bar class this morning. On a Saturday. During Memorial Day weekend. I should be on a beach somewhere fist pumping and drinking margaritas. Not cool. I came home from the gym and realized I had absolutely nothing to eat. My lunch literally consisted of 2 pickle spears, hummus and bagel chips and a Baby Bell cheese. I don’t even have time to be a real person & go grocery shopping … how I’m going to get my run on for the next 38 days is beyond me.

Double also, I ran in shorts today! This was the longest I’ve ever run in shorts [chub rub and I have a sordid history]. I was 100% concerned about how I was going to handle marathon training in SoCal in capris, so yay! Thanks, breakup diet!

>Bibbity bobbity boo-yah

2 Feb

>

Whenever my alarm goes off, I always think of the line from Cinderella – “I hear you, I hear you. Get up you say. Time to start another day.” Random, i know.

Anyhoo … I actually made my morning run today! Go me. It was only 2 miles and it in no way made up for last night’s binge-fest, but it made me feel a little better. I felt like I just couldn’t get comfortable for the first mile. My garmin annoyed me, my shorts kept riding up, my mp3 player kept rattling and my legs just felt heavy. By the second mile, however, I was feeling much better and was able to finish strong.

You may have noticed in that last paragraph that I wore shorts on my run this morning. That’s right. Shorts. Now. I am a not-so-proud, lifelong member of the TTC (Thighs Touch Club). I’ve never run i shorts before. Well, not since those awful Catholic school gym uniform days. The closest I’ll come is my fancy schmancy (aka bought on sale at the outlets) running skirts with respectable compression shorts. Because otherwise I get some chafing that is NOT cute. But I’d been hearing amazing things about Nike Tempo Shorts and it is going to get hot in Southern California and I thought, welp, might as well bite the bullet. Except I couldn’t find Nike Tempo Shorts. At least not ones that were on sale. So I went to Le Targe and bought some Champion temp shorts and hoped for the best. Today was their inaugural run. At first I thought I was in trouble. They were kind of riding up and I was doing that awkward skip/pull your shorts down/hope I don’t get a rash dance. But about halfway through the first mile, something worked and they magically stayed in place for the rest of the run. Glorious! I don’t know that I’d switch to running in shorts full time, as I’m still a capri girl at heart, but I’m excited to try the Nike ones and who knows, maybe I’ll even buy another pair of the Champion ones in some ridiculous color.

Do you get chub rub? Do you run in shorts? Discuss!