Tag Archive | training run

Night & Day!

The day after my epic coming of the rails run, I had a 14 miler to do.  I planned this one a little better as I knew that the whole point of this run was to run on tired legs.   My legs were tired.   It was still hotter than Hell, but I was determined to make it a good run.

First I decided that I would go later in the evening.   It is hard knowing that you are going to start a long run that won’t finish till the 10:00 PM news comes on, but still better than running in the heat of day.   Second, I plotted out a route that would allow me to meet some of my fellow MRTT Mama’s for miles 3 through 8.   They were supposed to be running a slower pace and I thought it would be good to have company for some of the run.   It was just what I needed even if they had me going a minute or so faster for those miles than my legs wanted to go, but still worth it.   As Janna pointed out, I did miss my tempo run the day before:)   I even had Helen run with me for an extra mile once the group was done.  She thankfully slowed down and it was nice to run with her as I don’t often get a chance.

Then it was time to do the last 4 1/2 miles by myself.  At first it was hard, but then I realized that it was only because I forgot to put my music back on.  For the record and safety, when running on roadways I do NOT use headphones at all.   I play my music right from my phone.    I also stopped at the local 7-elleven to refill my water bottles with cold water as I really hate warm water.   The man at the counter looked at me and all my lights a little odd as did some of the people in the parking lot.   Not sure if it was how sweaty I was because I was a hot, hot mess or the lights.   Either way I went on my way.

shortly after this stop, I had a group of teen boys (God, please don’t let my boys be this obnoxious) yell at me that I should wear reflective gear while running, but in a sarcastic tone while laughing at me.  I just yelled back, “you think?”   Then under my breath said a few things I will not mention on my blog.   This did get me thinking.   What do people think the point of all m reflective gear is?    I have been doing most of my runs ALONE at night with some of the streets not having good lighting.   I want to see where I am going and I think more importantly, I want to be seen!   Truth be told, I worry about drivers when I’m running during the day.   I worry more about drivers when I’m running at night because most are not expecting people to be out when it’s dark.   I’ve said before, my goal for every run is to make it home safely and if looking like a Christmas tree helps you see me at night, I’ve got no problem with that because you know I love Christmas trees!

So what do I wear…..

Lights

  1. Headlamp
  2. Reflective Vest (mine is pink)
  3. Nathan Runner’s flashlight
  4. Armband reflective lights – I wear mine on my running belt
  5. Nathan Strobe lights – one of front of the vest and one on back
  6. Another Strobe light on my belt
  7. Reflective running gear
  8. Pepper Spray – not reflective gear but I think important safety gear

Most of these items were either purchased at my local running store or Amazon.  To the average person, I may seem a little crazy with my lights maybe even bordering on OCD.   That’s ok as long as you see me coming:)

What do you use for night running?

Some Runs Are Just Not As Awesome as Others

Runner’s truth….

Not every run is fun.

Not every run is like running through a meadow.

More truth.

Some runs just suck from the very beginning.

Today was such a day.

I think I knew it from the beginning.   I almost walked back in my house after going outside.   Then I thought to myself that if I didn’t go then, I wouldn’t be able to get my run in today.  Besides I was ready to go.  I knew what splits I was looking to hit.   I had my course all mapped out.  I was ready.  I really wanted to get my run in.   Although, truth be told, I regretted the decision for most of my run.  Except, of course, the part when it was over and I knew that I go it in.

I was coming off the rails on this one.   There are several reasons and sometimes that just the way it goes.

First there was the phone call with my mom right as I was getting to go out the door.   Yes, it was 92 today but I have run on hotter days.   The difference is that right before a run I didn’t have anyone say to me, “You shouldn’t run today.   You are going to give yourself heat stroke or a heart attack.”    These are not the words of encouragement needed before a run.   Even though I knew that I was prepared to run in the elements, these words stuck in the back of my head.

Then there was my Garmin which died before I even hit mile one.    This really made me mad because it was on the charger all night.   I’m starting to wonder if my charger is not working properly because this has happened to me before.   I will have to keep an eye on it.   I had toyed with stopping then since I was supposed to be doing a tempo run which is impossible to do without a watch.   Since it was so hot and humid though, I decided to just keep on going and do the best I could.

Then around mile 3, my sunglasses literally broke.   Yes, I knew they were on their way out but really.

broken

My face sums up the way I felt.   Then by this point I was already feeling the pain of the run.   It really wasn’t physical pain but mental.   Part of the problem was the first part of my route did not have as much shade as I thought it did and I was baking in the sun.    Then it got in my head that it was too hot to run.   I kept on going.

One of the reasons that I like to plan a route out is that it doesn’t give me an out once I start.   I was literally 3 miles away and thought to myself even if I turn around I would only be 2 miles shy of the 8 I needed so I might as well stick with it.   I kept on going.   I even toyed with calling someone to pick me up, but I figured I should save that for when I really need it.

Then I got a message from my cheerleader, Dawn, telling me I could do it.   We messaged back and forth and it helped.   I kept on going.   Luckily by then I had hit more shade and although the run was still hard, I was no longer baking in the sun.  I admit that I would run.   Then I would walk when I felt that I needed to.   Then I would run again picking out something in the distance to run to before I could stop again.   Again, it wasn’t pretty.   I was NOT close to any kind of heat stroke except in my head.     I was a hot mess!

Then there was the water situation.    Yes, I did buy a hydration backpack but when I tried it on before my run; I didn’t like it.   I think this cheaper version that I bought might be good for hikes but I could not imagine running in it.  I had my Fitletic hydration belt with all 4 water bottles AND my hand held water bottle.  It was not enough on a day like today.   I should have looped to the park to refill, but I thought that I was fine.   Big mistake.   Then I was on the search for water.

I stopped at a friends house thinking that I would fill with her hose, but she had it hooked up to a sprinkler.  Not sure if it was the sweat on my hands or what, but I could not unhook it to fill my bottles. She wasn’t home or I would have knocked as I’ve done in the past.   Luckily a man saw me sitting, yes sitting, under a tree and gave me a water bottle.   I kept going.   Swung by another friends house and the same thing happened except no nice man to give me water.   By then I was close to home and just kept pushing.

I made it!

I got my run in!

The I realized that for some stupid reason I ran an extra mile.   I did nine instead of eight.   I will chalk that up to being delusional from the heat.

9 miles in 1:45

So, no not every run is awesome and some do suck.   But it is these runs that we push are way through that really show us what we are made of.   It is these runs that help to make us better runners.  It gives us the mental toughness needed to push through when running an event when all you want to do is stop.   If every run was easy, then that means you are not pushing your limits.   Life is about pushing limits and getting out of our comfort zone.

 comfort

So I’m off to bed now as tomorrow is another day

and

I’ve got 14 miles to put on the books.

How do you push through when all you want to do is give up?

Just Running In the Rain

I’ve run in rain before. I’ve run in snow before. I’ve run on sweltering summer days.  I’ve even run on nice days and  in all types of weather.   Today though was something I never experienced before.  It was not just rain it was torrential downpour rain.  When I left I really, really, really thought the rain was just passing quickly as the weatherman assured me that the rain was coming this afternoon and we all know that the weatherman could never be wrong.   Shockingly, though he was wrong.   He was very wrong.   I realized that about mile 3, but what was I supposed to do.   I was already wet and I needed to get my miles in.
rain2
I needed to get my 9 miles in and really the only time I had to do them was this morning anyway.   We all know that I hate the treadmill and I really don’t think that there is ANY way that I could have done them on it.   I prepared for running in a normal summer rain.   I wore my water repellant jacket which is very different I imagine from a waterproof jacket.  I had on my hat with a blinkie for visibility and I had on my reflective vest.   Thank God I also wrapped my phone in a zip-lock bag before putting it in my Fitletic belt.  I was good to go.
Flood
Now this was the first long run that I wasn’t supposed to use any fuel.   I wasn’t sure how that was going to go and I actually think that the rain may have helped with that as it both kept me cool the entire run and it also gave me something to think about.  I will say as far as not having fuel goes, I think I did ok.   I kept my pace pretty much the entire run.   I did falter a little during mile 8 as around mile 7.5 my legs were starting to feel heavy.   That being said, I still stayed literally right under 12 at 11:59.    I was able to pick up the pace for the last mile as I could feel the pull of home and it kept me going.   It didn’t hurt that the Emergency Alert went off on my phone warning of flash flooding.   Although at that point the rain was finally starting to slow down.   It was completely stopped by the time I got home.   Yup, that’s the way Mother Nature works.  Good times.
Rain3
I wish that my phone was water resistant so that I could have taken some pictures along my run today.   Running in some spots with water up over my shoes.   This was usually as I was crossing a street near the drains.   In the beginning of my run, I tried to avoid them.   Then I realized that there really was no point.   I was saturated from head to toe.   This is no lie.   This is no exaggeration.   When I came home, I had to put my clothes in the bathroom sink as they were dripping wet.  Due to this, I am dealing with a bit of chaffing.    Again, good times.
worth it
I’m sure that there were those who saw me running that probably thought I was crazy.  During the run there were moments that I thought so too.   I began to wonder why I put my body through it.   I’m not training for the Olympics.   I’m not a front of the packer.   I’m not a sponsored runner.   I’m just a Mama who likes to run.   Then I realized that none of that mattered.   Not the rain, the soggy shoes, the drenched clothes.   What mattered is the sense of accomplishment that I get from each run.   A run like today was not an easy run.   Part of me will admit that there is something fun to be running out on a day like today.   Anyone can run on a nice day, but only a BAMR will run on a day like today.
Do you run in the rain?

How Slow Can You Go?

slow down

Ok, I’m ready to start working with my new coach.   I just got my first training plan and it’s time to get moving.   It’s only for 4 days as I will normally get my weekly plan on Tuesday’s.    It seems like when I get my new plans, I will then email her back with my weekly completed training plans with some notes.   She needs to know what I completed, how I felt, paces, and such.  Seems pretty reasonable and I am excited to get started.  I guess it’s a good thing that I bought the training journal to keep track of things too!

One thing that struck me though is that FOR NOW she wants me to slow down my training runs.   The next two runs are scheduled to be run at 11+.    What?   How can that be?    I think my average run lately is in the low 10’s or better.   To slow down is going to be hard.  It goes against the grain.   When I first started running, I was running an eleven minute mile.   Now to intentionally run this “slow” is just going to seem weird and it is actually going to be hard to do.   I will do it, but it won’t be without a lot of looking at my Garmin for help.   I know that I am going to have to pay close attention to my time and not just go with the flow.  Caolan has assured me that there is a method to her madness and to trust her.    As I said before, she knows what she is doing.   So I will trust her knowledge that I need to run at these slower paces more than my desire not to.

The one line in the email that really stood out to me was when she said,

Most of us run too fast too often and not fast enough ever.

She is so right and I will listen to her.

So I will check my ego at the door and run the pace or as close to the pace as she tells me to run.

The real challenge will be being brave enough to get in my swim suit tomorrow for a swim!

Wish me luck!

Have you ever slowed down to speed up?

Make It Happen

Now yesterday I was saying how there are so many things in our lives and training plans that we can’t control and to give in to that lack of control by Giving Up the Reins.   I do need to clarify though that just because you accept that lack of control and go with the flow so to speak, does not mean you are absolved from everything.

It would be like expecting our children to do well on a Biology Test without every opening their books.   It just won’t happen without some good hard work.  So like the Boy Scouts Motto, we need to prepare for the things we want and that are  somewhat in our control.   No just because we prepare doesn’t mean that everything will go according to our plan, but without a plan you won’t every have a chance of meeting your goals (or at least for me it works that way). So, I know your shocked, I’ve got a plan.

Planning, Preparing, and Working Hard to Reach our goals are all in our control.   Now, right now I am doing all my planning, preparing, and working my butt off to reach my goal of running a 5K in 25 minutes.   I really don’t know that I will be able to do it.   My fastest 5K is 27:17.   Now to someone who is not a runner reading this (Hi Mom), shaving two minutes off a 5K sounds easy enough; but I know the reality of it.  Shaving those two minutes off is going to be hard work and even with pushing myself I’m not sure that I still will be able to do it.    I won’t know though unless I try.

You know I’m trying too,  when I’m willing to go run inside on a treadmill to do my speed workout.   Today’s run is going to be hard.   I would much rather run circles at my local park, but I know with the cold and ice it is not a safe or smart thing to do.   So I will lace up, go to my gym and push it.

Push it real good.

PushI’m not going to lie.   I am not looking forward to today.   Not only is it running on the treadmill 6 miles, but it is repeats.

Description: 1-mile warmup
3 x 1 mile @ 8:00/mile with 800-meter recovery jog
1-mile cool down

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

NO, not at all!

So why do it if it’s not fun?

Because if I don’t, I won’t have a chance of meeting my goal.   You get out what you put in which means putting in the hard runs in this case as every run can’t be an “easy” run.   This is especially true when you are a woman in your mid 40’s getting closer to not being able to say mid.   This is especially true when you were also not born to run like a gazelle like some woman I know.

The truth is if you want something to happen,

you have to also make it happen.

Go-Out-and-Make-Things-Happen

No all the planning, preparing, and Hard Work won’t necessarily mean I will meet my goal, but it will give me a chance.

and

All I need is a chance!

Word of the Week – Salutations

greetings

Greetings and Salutations.

We’ve all been there.   Your out for your morning/afternoon/evening run and you see a runner coming at you on the horizon.   You’re a friendly person and bring your hand up to wave.   Then bam nothing.   No wave.  No smile.   Nothing.   Why?   What’s the problem?   Too much effort to be polite?

Then instead of it being a normal polite thing to do, you start to think when you see a fellow runner –

Do I wave?

Do I smile?

Do I do the head nod?

Do I just pretend I don’t see them?

Well I admit it.   I always acknowledge them.   More times that should happen in a civilized society, these people who I am sure are pleasant in every other aspect of their life don’t conform to social standards while on the road.

hello

Actually, I would never do that!   Besides this is not a “talent’ that I have mastered yet.   Although, come this winter I just might.   But back to the topic at hand.

sal·u·ta·tion

noun \ˌsal-yə-ˈtā-shən\

 the act of greeting someone

Full Definition of SALUTATION

1 a :  an expression of greeting, goodwill, or courtesy by word, gesture, or ceremony
b plural :  regards
2:  the word or phrase of greeting (as Gentlemen or Dear Sir or Madam) that conventionally comes immediately before the body of a letter

So why do some people make this so difficult?

Rule # 1 – If someone says Hi or acknowledges you, acknowldeg them too

Rule # 2 – If you run right past a person, a head nod is acceptable too

Rule #3 – Don’t be an @ss

It’s really that simple!

I will tell you that on one of my long training runs where I was at about mile 10, I was running towards a gentleman pondering if I would do the wave.   He one upped me.   He put his hand out for a High Five as we passed each other and made some remark about keep up the good work.   I said something like same to you.   I don’t remember the exact words, but I will say that his actions reminded me of being at a race and people pumping you up.  Just the simple act of the High Five helped put the spring in my step for a bit.   It was like acknowledging that we were both in it together to get it done which is true.   We are all out there running for our various reasons.   We are all out there for ourselves, but we are not out there alone.

Now I am not saying that you need to high five every runner that you see.   Although it might be cool if you did.   I’m just that we are all out there together getting it done and it would be nice if we didn’t pretend we don’t see each other out there.

Do you say Hi to other runners?

Do you like it when others say Hi to you?

Testing the Limits

how-far

So today was a BIG day for me.    Today was a test.    A test that I passed. Barely.   It was hard as hell, but I completed the task at hand (or foot).   Today I ran for the VERY first time 20 miles. Did I hit “the wall?:   Maybe, but I kept on going.  I did it in 3:57:02 burning over 2000 calories which I think I may have consumed since I finished.

So why the test?

You may remember my post Can’t Always Get What You Want

Where I talk about how close I came to possibly being in this years NYC Marathon.

Obviously, I  didn’t get in, but it was there in the back of my mind.  Could I run a Marathon if I wanted.   Could I push myself?   I didn’t get the opportunity to find out, so I focused on the Hat Trick training which worked for me.   But in my mind,  the seed was planted.   I may do the NYC Marathon in the future, but I wanted to test my limits now.   I have friends that are  going to Philly to do the Gore-Tex Marathon in a few weeks. I’ve been toying with it, but haven’t made a decision.   I could even do a half.  I could call it a day and just wait till next race season.   I’ve pushed a lot this year.   A lot more than I ever thought that I would.  But I was curious if I could push myself for a long training run.   I wanted to see if I could do it.   Dawn had one today.   So I tagged along.   Why not?    Just a fun day with a friend.   But I told her I would do the 20 and she got me there.

Before today the most I’ve ever run in one day is a little more than 13 miles.  Training for the Hat Trick, I did have days where I would run 13 after running 5 & 8 in the preceding days.   I ran 22 total when I did the Hat Trick.   I needed to see if I could do the 20 though.

I never fully understood how heavy the legs would feel on a long run like this.   There were decent hills too and as the miles rose it felt like someone was adding weight to my legs.   Since I didn’t “need” this run for any other reason than to test myself, I probably (no probable here) would have stopped without my running buddy.   I would have hated myself later, but I still would have stopped. She needed it, but she also knew that mentally I needed it.   We plodded through this run with a good solid pace even up those big hills.  It was worth it, when we hit the 20 though.

What did I learn about pushing it to 20 today?

  1. Don’t do Crossfit with wall balls the day before.
  2. Don’t do a 6 mile hills  two days before
  3. I can do it.
  4. I am ready, I just need to decide if now is the time.

So as I ponder these things, I will finish my wine, eat my chocolate, and go to bed as I’m tired!

10405574_1507063739543096_5346241465512321621_n

What limits do you push?