My leg has a sad so I'm taking a few days off running. I was thinking about getting in the pool tomorrow (I never kick when I swim anyways) but we'll see. In the mean time, I've had lots of fun poking around the internet.


Long Run Thursday: Turkeys and Herron and Deer, Oh My!

This run had it's ups and downs and I did not run the whole route. I'm okay with that, surprisingly. My mileage schedule got all screwed up and I skipped on off week where I should have had one. I actually ran about 10 of these miles and walked the rest, but I did 12 miles on an elliptical on Tuesday. No worries.

My first error, and probably the fatal one, was that I started out way too fast. And when I hit the glorious down hill portion of this run, I kept going too fast. It was also on the down hill part of life that my right leg/hip/ham string started to hurt. It's not a bone thing. I'm a muscle thing that gives new meaning to the phrase "tight ass". I can't explain it except to say it just feels like my leg isn't in the right place. Boo.

The second error, although not too regrettable, was thinking I could actually run on Pike Island. I did actually run all the way around it, but it clearly wasn't ready for runners. Pike Island is lovely and I highly recommend it. That said, they must have been re-grading or re-doing some of the trails. The trails were abnormally uneven (even for nature, I could tell those bumps weren't supposed to be there) which made my leg even less happy.

The third error, and ultimately the death nail in the coffin, was trying to gun it up the big hill by Ft Snelling. I did actually manage to run a while after that but it was never the same. So I walked the rest of the way home. The only thing that makes my leg feel better is running up on my toes. Walking didn't feel good but it started to calm down later in the day.

In addition to the above chaos, I had a panic attack while running (see my comment about gunning it up the hill; it was right after that) which I haven't had since last marathon season. I say boo. Still, today I got to see a great new place to run and have a relatively good run for being at this time. And I learned that even on 14-mile runs, I need to slow the hell down. (It's sick when marathoners start to think 'oh, it's only a little 14-miler'.)

Here's m wildlife count for the run:
  • Squirrels: I almost tripped over a pair of squirrels that were either mating or fighting. I think if it's this time of year it would be fighting but who can say for sure. Anyways the tried to trip me.

  • Rabbits: every where, even little babies.

  • Blue Heron: I scared one on Pike Island and I got to watch it fly away down river. I also saw one sitting in the mist along the creek. My favorite birds.

  • Cranes: What are the big white birds that look like cranes (Ibis?) that live in the same places and do the same things at Blue Heron? I saw a bunch of those too.

  • Deer: the welcome party of Pike Island. They're stealthy but they let me get pretty close. They had babies too.

  • Turkey Lurkey: yes, I did see a boatload of wild Turkey. Pop question: a group of wild Turkeys is called a what? ('Rafter' if you trust the internet.) The turkey babies are the cutest. Yes, even cuter than the bunnies. I have no idea why.


Long Run Tuesday: Doing it the UGLY way

Today was the first of three 20 mile runs. The marathon training program I use is heavy on the long runs but also good on the step back weeks.

Today was not the most pleasant run I've ever had. Here's how it went:

Last night: I mapped my route and decided where I would take food and water. This was a good step. It seems like food every 3-4 miles is working well for me. Although I wish I had a salty snack I could have towards the end of my run when I'm done with sugar but still need calories.

5:00am - Whatimizit? Whuzatnoize? Whahuh? Then I checked the weather to verify there was no rain and was greeted by the information that, although the rain had moved through, it was 86% humidity. At first I thought I'd just do a 6 miler today and the big one tomorrow and then, for some reason, I convinced myself that 'the humidity will burn off when the some comes up'. (Right.)

5:20am or so - I had my hard boiled egg, got my water and food all ready and headed out. Hello steam bath.

Starting off to Lake Nokomis (look at the map if you're not from here): Slow Down. I just wanted to move. I kept it nice and easy but it was hard because I WANTED TO GO. It's weird taking water and food at the lake. I do that so rarely. Usually if I'm doing a six or seven miler, I don't have anything with me.

Up one side of the river - it was just north of Lake Street that the trouble for the day really started. Kudos to the Minneapolis park board which puts extra, um, facilities out for runners in the summer. There was a well-stocked facility right where I needed it.

Across Franklin Ave and back down the other side of the river - things really got bad here. There are no, um, facilities on this side of the river. Luckily there is a railroad bridge with big pilings that provide shelter and privacy. All was well until I hit my head on a metal beam on the bridge while I was walking back to the running path. So then thoughts of tetanus and head wounds while running in the heat started going through my head. (In a comedy way, not in the OCD way.)

Still on the river, now moving up hill towards Summit - I'm trying to make peace with the fact that there's a rather large elevation change in this marathon. The river parkway from Lake Street north, across Franklin, and back south to Lake St is all what I would call a false flat. It looks flat until you try to run it and then it becomes clear there is an upward slope. Small, but even small things can hurt after running 20 miles.

Hills, Cretin and Summit - Well, this is going to hurt when it's at mile 20. That was actually about the time I overheated in earnest. Summit was uber-busy because St Thomas was having it's orientation. I did make it all the way up to Snelling, still running. It was on the way back to the river that I started walking. I re-filled my water bottles at a water fountain and had a little break. My digestive track was starting to rebel.

Moving south on the river towards Ford Pkwy - my stomach (and the rest of my digestive track) hates me. I started doing intervals of walking and running. I actually relaxed a while on the down hill and did a longer interval. Slowly.

Back into Minneapolis along the parkway - The feeling in my body brought new meaning to the phrase 'tight ass'. My hamstrings just totally tightened up and it was another kind of pain to move. I was still doing intervals into Minneapolis but around Nokomis Ave I got done. Just mentally done.

Around Lake Hiawatha and on the way home - I did a little run around Lake Hiawatha, even though mentally I wanted to be done running, and my hamstrings similarly were done. There's one hill between 19th and Cedar that's short but steep that I did run up. I'm learning to go up hills on my toes which is working pretty well. Nothing was helping at that point. After I got across Cedar, I really stopped running and started walking and stretching.

Home - thank goodness.

Thinking the humidity was going to burn off was a big fail. Learning to run in the heat was good. I've learned I need to hydrate better on hot runs and hydrate better the day before (even though I was really pretty good yesterday). I was trying to drink every two miles, which is fine on race day when it's 1o-15 degrees cooler than now, but today and for now, I need to drink every mile and refill my water bottles at water fountains along the way. Still to do is forgive myself for having a crappy, slow run. Also still to do is not panic about my pace (which was slower than I'll need to be on marathon day). I do have two more 20 milers and a few more not-quite-so-long runs. In addition to a new hydration plan, I need to have a new pre-run relaxation program. I was really nervous about today, especially the stretch between Franklin ave and Snelling ave, and as soon as I got done with that, I kind of lost it. Not what I want when I need to pay attention for 26.2 miles.

Ice bath - WIN.




Long Run Thursday: I'm sleeeepy

Like the good runner I am, I woke up at the crack of dawn and went out for a long run. July seems early for 18-milers. Was I doing that last year at this time? (Maybe I'll go read last year's posts later to find out.)

The run was basically positive. I checked the mileage points last night and established times I wanted to eat. A nutrition plan was decidedly missing in my last long run. When I was running I decided I didn't want to eat every 3 miles, actually 4 miles was a better fit for me. I also looked at points where I should drink water, I'm trying every two miles which is how the marathon will be.

I did a very good job of relaxing and going slowly, saving something for the end. As you can see from the 'elevation' feature of the map, I did run up a big hill (and then down the other side) around mile 16. I'm trying to embrace the elevation change that will come around, I don't know, mile 20 of the marathon. (Clearly, I'm not totally emotionally prepared for it.) I actually did ok on the hill. I stayed calm, and took one walk break. I slowed waaay down at the end to accommodate the needs of my stomach. (This is how I know I was dehydrated.)

Best parts of the run include:
  • 18 miles!

  • It feels really good to stay that calm during a run. It's relaxing.

  • Dumping a bottle of cold water over my head around mile 14.

  • Dumping a second bottle of water over my head around mile 16. (In retrospect, it may have been better to have drunk that water.)

  • Sopresseta and cream cheese after the run.

  • Eating 1,000 calories before/during the run, plus Chipotle for lunch, and I'm still hungry.

  • Getting on the scale after the run. WIN.


Sitting in my happy place

I'm on my couch. I have a beer in one hand and and a water bottle in the other.

I woke up early this morning to celebrate Beth's birthday (a day late) with a run around my happy place. (I don't know if Beth has a happy running place.) I got sick on the run (shock of shocks). After run number one, I watched the Tour de France. Sadly, Lance was in three separate crashes this stage so he's basically never going to catch up to Alberto Contador. I will now start rooting for Levi Leipheimer and Andy Schleck (who is a freaking bean pole).

I had some more of my oatmeal (turns out it is possible to re-heat it) and started thinking I should cook some oatmeal to have cold during Ragnar. I have no idea if cold oatmeal is a good idea or not. I feel like chocolate chips will only help the dish and mashed bananas would be unacceptable.

After fueling up, I went to the gym and finished my miles on the elliptical. I tried on some brown running shorts (that will be backup shorts for my costume for the relay) and was thrilled with how well they fit. When I got home from the gym, completely sweaty and gross from two runs, I ran into the chef. He was heading out for a bike ride. We talked for a minute and then I went in and he went on. To celebrate being home I made lunch, had a beer, and watched world cup. In retrospect, a beer was probably the wrong choice for hydration but hindsight is 20/20.

Now I am sitting here contemplating weight loss (and many other things) over a beer. I think I'll look for another pair of these shorts. I'll be much more attractive to everyone on my relay team that way (and since I'll be more attractive, they'll all like me better). Now I'm contemplating who on my Facebook page actually has permission to the the blog posts that copy themselves there.


Today is an embarrassment of riches for sporting events. I woke up and ran with Beth (Happy Birthday!) and will spend most of the day watching the Tour De France and then World Cup. (Lance Armstrong just fell down by the way, I'm watching right now.)

What have I been looking at this week (mostly during all the commercials in Tour De France)?


LINKFEST: A Loooong Weekend

It's been a loong weekend. From time to time, I just have to stop eating solid foods. It's no fun. That happened this weekend. (Boo.) So I stayed inside in the air conditioning and enjoyed the plethora of sports on television.

Apparently, I enjoyed the internet too. Here's what I've seen:


I'm going to pay for this

I haven't run in a while because I've been sick. It's sort of a relief that I was actually sick on Wednesday when I bonked rather than improperly trained. I wasn't totally convinced of my predicament and told Beth I'd run with her Saturday morning. Beth was sick too and canceled. Thank goodness one of us had sense enough not to run. I was way too sick to go but I would've tried to man up for Beth anyway. No good would have come of it.

I basically didn't eat solid foods yesterday. I watched a lot of sports. I felt like a rich girl because I could pick between Wimbledon, World Cup, Tour De France, and Twins. By the end of the day I was so hungry. You don't realize how much food they show on television, commercials, even the bikers in the tour eat at one point.

This morning I was able to get it together to buy popsicles. Kowalski's didn't have much good broth/soups. I could've gone to Target but wasn't emotionally prepared for the trip or all the walking.

This afternoon I decided to throw caution to the wind and eat solids. I'm going to pay for it later, I know. My stomach isn't quite better yet but I just wanted to feel full for a little while.

I was supposed to see Fireworks with Eric and my pooky bear tonight. I haven't decided yet but it's not looking good. We'll see what the chex do to my stomach.


You're HOW OLD?

It occurred to me that when I told you about my birthday party I didn't include pictures.

This is as close to 'dress up' as I like to get.

I must've just said something funny to get that look. Or something absurd.

This cake says 'Amanda loves me'. She made two cakes like this (because Pooky Bear and I can't share). That's real butter cream frosting, mocha, hazelnut and a several layers of awesome. OM NOM NOM.