8 Miles at Lake Harriet - Lessons Learned

Lesson 1 - It's possible to have 'too much wine for running the next day' without being truly hung over.
 My Pooky Bear and I went to a wine tasting last night.  It benefited... someone.  There was lots of wine and even a few beers.  Pooky Bear likes sweet.  I like middle of the road to dry.  We both like white.  I only jump ship and drink reds when Chianti or similar is involved. We both like the bubbles.  We got to this event around 6:30pm and left around 9pm.  I have no idea how much I drank, but I didn't wake up with a hang over.  I only noticed the general 'ugh' feeling when I started to run.  Le sigh.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Lesson 2 - Lake Harriet is crowded the weekend before Twin Cities.
I mean packed.  And mostly with runners.  There were some walkers, and some walking dogs, but mostly tons and tons of runners.  It went from 'fun to have all the company' to 'ok; you can move now' as I progressed around the lake.  I guess we'll have lots more room next weekend when they close all the roads down.

Lesson 3 - Run through the pain.  Or don't.  For sure, true different shoes tomorrow.
Today's run and the Buffalo farmland run I had a shooting pain in my knee.  Which is really unusual.  Both times I was wearing really minimalist shoes. When I concentrated on my form I could make the pain go away.  Which means being lazy and tired is at least part of the problem.  Le sigh.  My plan is to do a long run tomorrow and then enjoy the brief taper leading up to the 10 miler and hope that my knee also enjoys the taper.  

Lesson 4 - Previous suspicions confirmed.  It does take me five to six miles to warm up.  The 10K and 5K on Saturday should be a freaking pleasure.
One of my most vivid memories of the 3 way challenge is the 5K being absolutely horrendous most of the way because I was slow and tight and grumpy.  I'm looking forward to Lucinda's company in this 5K race and hopefully she can pull me along.


7 Miles of Farm Land

I hit up the Buffalo to Montrose trail only one other time. A series of random and mildly unfortunate events conspired to prevent my running here again until today.

Plan: 7 miles.  The trail is an out-and-back, so run 3.5 miles south, then turn around and head north.

Weather: Not quite as hot as the last time I was here.  It started around 77* or 80* and ended near 73*.

Nutrition: I changed in a weird place and so was not able to fill my water bottle.  Le sigh.  I had no food during the run, and totally forgot to eat my gummy chews after the run.  When I got home I had two bottles of water.

Execution: I certainly was not in a hurry on this run, but I did run the whole way.  I tried to 'attack' the hills that came towards the end of the run because I know that's how the 10-miler will feel next week.  The moment I stopped running, the mosquitoes swarmed.  I was a bit afraid of severe blood loss from the damn things.  I put on my running sleeves and a t-shirt I'd packed so that I could cool down and stretch in peace.

Pictures: Nobody says I didn't take enough pictures today.  The light was really fantastic.  I'm ignoring the fact that the sun was setting as I was running at 6:30pm. 


All of the new recipes

Today is another Productivity Monday.  I'm making a goal for my lunches to have as much protein as humanly possible.  Or at least a lot of protein and fewer carbs.  It's a long story.  We'll see how it works out.

Grilled Garlic Chicken Tenders: I got just under a pound of chicken.  Each lunch contains two tenders.  I did not make the yogurt dressing described here because I found one I liked better.

Lentil Dumplings with Chili and Cumin I think will be a good recipe over all, if I can work out the final preparations.  I wound up partially baking my dumplings becuase they didn't cook through in the pan.  I feel like they would've been better as pancake or burger style creations instead of tiny balls. 

Yogurt Mint Sauce, the only recipe I could find on the entire internet that didn't have sugar in this creation. This was crazy easy to make.  I didn't put the salt in it, and sort of wish I had, but I've salted the dumplings enough I'd like to avoid hypernatrimia.

DIY Shampoo.  I was my hair so freaking much as a runner and I've noticed it breaking and generally being unhealthy so I wanted to try something new.   This was even easier to make than the mint sauce.  Missing from the instructions is this: the shampoo cannot overflow the little cups on the ice cube trays.  If it does, it'll never come out.  On the first try using it, I went in between thinking "this will never be enough" to "is it even in there?" to "is my scalp tingling or is that my imagination?" 


All of the Running

Friday: I ran a quick mile.  The streak is over day 700 at this point.  Mind boggling.  Really I was recovering from the big run the day before and didn't want to do much.

Saturday:  Run 7-ish miles.  20-minute Pilates video.  I miss Pilates. I ran 7-ish miles around Lake Nokomis, crazy slow with a crazy stead heart rate.  I'm focusing on the heart rate being nice and stead for the entire time.  Because I didn't predict that.   And then this Pilates video.  And then I helped a friend install a bathtub.  Which was 100 times harder than it sounds.

Sunday: I shocked myself by getting out of bed at 7:15am instead of going back to sleep.  I ran 4 miles and I really felt like moving.  I kept my heart rate around 148-150 most of the time and didn't even take pictures.

Monday:  Run.  Finisher.  Spin. Run.  I repeated my 'run into downtown and take a spin class at the gym' routine.  I hate this run.  It's all uphill until like the last five minutes.  I'm trying to embrace it though, because that's how I'll be describing the 10-miler in a couple weeks.  I did a finisher of lunges and standing leg raises and then went to the gym. Spin was a blast.  It was a big class tonight.  I ran about six blocks back to catch my bus.  It hurt.


Skora Phase - the shoes I hate to love

I picked up a pair of the Skora Phase somewhere around my birthday.  I did not get along with these shoes.  I had some experiences that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and some that hurt a lot, and some other things.  And despite all of that, I keep reaching for these shoes.  I feel wrong for liking them.

Let's start with the drawbacks.

That one time on the internet...  I had this weird exchange on Instagram with the company that makes the shoes.  They made it seem like I couldn't possibly know what size shoes I wear.  (I just checked with a friend who wears Brooks and Skora in the same size so you are wrong that your shoes are too big...)  It was weird. I don't talk to them anymore.

Sizing: Following up on that point, I usually wear a 7 in running shoes, and I got a 7 in these shoes.  I find myself wishing I'd ordered a 6.5 and if I ever do order from this company again, I will size down.  No matter what their Instagram bot tells me to do.

The upper ripped on my first run.  Twice..  I have two rips in the upper the shoe from my first run.  Because there was a stick in the trail and it poked my shoe.  I kid you not. Since that run, I've added a couple more scuff marks.  Particularly on the day I fell down twice.  The shoes feel otherwise well made so I was bummed that the uppers are apparently made of a synthetic material closely related to tissue paper.

Roads only.  Part of the reason I only use these for road shoes is because I ripped the upper interacting with one stick.  The main reason is because I feel the ground in these shoes.  That's a good thing on the roads, but I do not desire the same intimacy with sticks and rocks of various sizes. It feels like running in a gravel parking lot barefoot just thinking about it.

That little O on the heel.  Apparently all shoes from this brand have this little "O" on the heel.  The heel counter really hurt every time I'd start to walk and this carried on for about a month.  It carried on for way too long. This was my least favorite of all my least-liked features of the shoe and company.  Because it friggin hurt.

I'd read a few reviews before I purchased these shoes.  This one is pretty straightforward.  This one had the same issue with that thing in the heel that I did. For an hilarious diatribe on sizing issues, go here. From this one I learned to ditch the shoe inserts immediately.  Which was good advice.  They came wrinkled and bent up in the shoe.  Which would've aggravated me to know end if I'd actually wanted them. I threw them away and haven't missed them once.  All of these reviews mention how 'grippy' the sole is.  Totally true as well.

Why do I (guiltily) love these shoes so much?  Because they're so much fun on the roads.  And they feels right.  A shoe that feels right is like porn: You'll know it when you see it.  (Now that I have the shoes broken in properly at least.)


9 Miles on the Lake Minnetonka LRT Trail

In the past I've made it clear that I prefer running on not-pavement surfaces when I can.  In the cities and suburbs, not-paved trails are hard to come by.  Local favorites include the River Bluffs Trail and that thing from Buffalo to Montrose. I'd always heard that Lake Minnetonka LRT trail is also crushed limestone but it seemed too good to be real.  I found out today: true.

Plan:  I'd wanted to do 8-10 miles.  Before the start of the run, I knew it was a bit too hot for 10. I decided on 9 miles with the mental agreement that I could shorten it to 8 if I wanted to.  Because it's always good to have a backup plan.

Route: I knew I was going to finish the work day very close to the Lake Minnetonka LRT trail, and that it'd be a new trail for me to run.  I like to run out and backs when I'm on new trails.  LRT trails lend themselves to out and backs anyways, because where else was I going to go? When I run at the end of the work day the biggest challenges I face are parking, a place to change my clothes, a place to fill up my water bottle, and a place to go to the bathroom.  So I started the run at a point the trail ran through Excelsior, an adorable little town that took good care of me. From Excelsior I headed southwest for 4.5 miles, then turned around and came back.

Weather: It was kind of warm.  I mean, we've had our moments of fall like weather and there was one day when I saw frost on an early morning run.  But today is was 75* and sunny in the afternoon with an occasional breeze. 

Execution: I'm beginning to understand ultra distance runners who say it takes them 20 miles to warm up.  It took me a solid 6 miles to feel warmed up and loose.  The final 3 miles were really fun.  After the run, I did a 'finisher' of standing bicycles, standing leg lifts, and calf raises, counting down from 10 reps to 1 rep of each.  Then I did some dynamic stretching and then static stretching.

Nutrition:  I'd like to thank my body for getting sick before I even started the run.  By the time I headed out, things had settled a bit. I had 2 little bottles of water and a pack of chews with me.  I ate two chews at mile 4 and two more at mile 5.  Even though my stomach was more stable, it was still in 'don't touch me' mode so I didn't want to put too much in it.  I felt stronger as I kept going anyways.  I had one bottle of water on the run, and finished the other off at the end of the run, then refilled both bottles and drank those too.

Pictures: I mean, seriously.  I could not get enough of this trail.


6 Miles of Blergh

The run today can best be described as 'blergh' with a dose of 'grateful I can run and grateful for the chance'.

Blergh 1 - My alarm when off around 5:20am.  It was dark.
Blergh 2 - The sidewalk I was running on left something to be desired for all of Minnehaha Parkway.  I remember now why I don't normally come this way.
Blergh 3 - I'm tired.  Did I tell you what time my alarm went off?
Blergh 4 - That weird girl who was all 'hey!'  'ay!' at me when I was running and I totally ignored.  Because it was weird. 
Blergh 5 - Actual blergh.  Thank goodness for the nearby facilities.

I'm mostly impressed with myself for actually getting out of bed and doing this.  So that's in the 'way to go' column.


Elevation Profile

Elevation profile of a long run today.  That bit between mile 5 and 6 was every bit as fun as it looks. 


All of the Running

I started counting my calories again a week or two ago.  Since then, my sleeping has been all messed up and I've had some serious problems waking up in the morning.  Perhaps because I'm hungry?  I'd been doing all of my running in the afternoon and evening which was fine until Labor Day weekend.  Also known as the weekend of beautiful messes.  And me getting up early.

Friday: I woke up before 7am, which doesn't sound early but I was happy for myself.
Run: 4 miles
Stretch: I foam rolled a few minutes in the morning after running.  I did this stretching video before bed.
Other: Rehearsal, then rehearsal dinner.

Saturday: I woke up at 5:15am.  Or more correctly my body got out of bed at that time.  The actual waking process took much longer I'm sure.  It was worth it because sunrise over the lake was really special.
Run: 9 miles, no heart rate monitor
Finisher: 11 minutes
Stretch: 6 minutes, this video.  It was just enough to get me ready for the day.
Other: Salon, lots of pictures, ceremony and a big party because Qat Lady got married!!!

Sunday: I woke at 6am, not on purpose, but couldn't really get up.  I fell back asleep and eventually pulled myself out of bed around 9:30am. 
Run: 4 miles, no heart rate monitor
Stretch: 15 minute foam rolling with this video.  I skip the first 5 minutes where she talks about different foam rollers after I heard it the first time. 
Other: Opening gifts brunch for Qat Lady and Mr Qat Lady