Monday, January 31, 2011

Blogger Meet Up!

This week did not go according to plan. I was on pain killers until Wed. and that doesn't mix well with running. Wed.'s 3 mile run felt terrible. But by Friday's run I felt back to normal and things were good! I had that crazy run's high when I got home and felt like I could have gone forever. If it weren't for a car pool, I might have. It felt good to be back to normal. Stupid root canal. If I learned anything from that it was to not procrastinate getting out of pain. Whether it's a sinus infection or a tooth problem, it's probably not going away on it's own! Lesson learned. I knew that Saturday's long run wasn't going to happen. I stayed up way too late with my husband who was doing some work things on Friday night and then had a big day planned for Saturday. It was my Grandma's 90th Birthday party and I also was going to meet a bunch of bloggers. So 5 miles was all that happened and even then my bed didn't get made or dishes done as we rushed out the door to make it on time. Oh well. I didn't beat myself up too much about it and figured that I'll get back on track this week.

From L to R: Rachelle, Julia, Cindy, me, Janae, Ashley, and Miriam.

This is really stupid, but the night before the meet up I started getting nervous. Having thoughts like, "will they like me?" "Will I have anything to say?" "I'm not fast. Am I still considered a good enough runner to hang out with them?" "What are they going to think about my not so skinny body? Are they going to wonder if I really do run?" And then I started wondering what I should wear. I started wishing I had gone shopping for a new outfit. It was kind of like a blind date. I felt like a stupid teenager. And then, to make matters worse, from what I knew, I realized that I was going to be the oldest person at this meet up. Now if that doesn't bring some feelings up to the surface, I don't know what will. I generally don't worry about my age. I am comfortable in my skin and happy with where I am in life. Since I couldn't really do anything about these thoughts, I just let them go and decided to just be myself and that would have to be good enough. Am I the only one who has these crazy thoughts of inferiority or comparing myself with others? Or is it a normal woman thing? I usually don't get caught in that trap.
The blogger meet up was awesome. I was indeed the old lady at this meet up. I was the only one with kids. But it was great to see that we're all runners and we were connected through that. We talked for 2 hours and could have gone on for longer. It's fun to meet people in person after you've "known" them online. It's fun to hear what their voice sounds like, to see how tall they are, and to see if they are really as nice in person as they seem on their blogs. I can tell you that if you've ever wondered if Janae (hungry runner girl) can really be that sweet and interested in your life, she can be and is. It's a beautiful talent that she possesses. A gift, really. Everyone else was great, talented, and sweet and I found another person (Ashley) who's running Ogden. All in all, it was a great day where I came away with new friends! Could you ask for a better day than that? Even if I did miss my long run!

Wednesday: 3 mile run in Evo's, full body weights
Thursday: cycling class
Friday: 5 mile run in gorilla feet, full body weights
Saturday: 5 mile run in gorilla feet

Have you ever done a bloggy meet up?
This was my second. I met Anna and her husband a couple of years ago. It was a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Runners are a special breed. My husband thinks it's crazy though and that some cute "girl" will end up being a 50 year old ex-convict who kidnaps me and then finds my address and robs us blind.
Do you ever have your workout plans cut short and how do you deal with it? Make it up or just let it go?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weight Work Out for Runners

Let me start with a disclaimer that I am not a personal trainer, a doctor, physical therapist, or even a very smart person. I'm just here sharing what has worked and not worked for me. Just my 2 cents worth!
For years I have lifted weights. I actually really enjoy it. I first started lifting about 9 years ago with a good friend of mine who was a fitness guru. She enjoyed doing research and was a group instructor for our local gym and taught classes at our church. I enjoyed learning about all the muscle groups and how to work them effectively. I learned that I was not going to bulk up and that I needed to lift heavy and I needed to hit muscle failure if I wanted to see results. I learned that you have to change up your routine to keep your body growing. I started lifting for weight loss. This friend, turned personal trainer, still teaches at our local gym. I love going to her classes because I don't have to think about what I'm going to do. I know that she'll make sure we hit all the major muscle groups and she'll kick my butt while doing it. The only problem with this class for me is that it is at 5:45 a.m. After the 4th child came along it got harder and harder to get up early and then survive the day with little kids. I started doing my routine at home. I was really dedicated at first. Then, slowly, my enthusiasm for it declined while my enthusiasm for running more took over. I didn't want to "waste" time on weights when I could be running. So it turned into hit and miss workouts. After a bunch of running injuries later, I reflected and could see that I ran the best when I was doing consistent weight training. Duh. Like I said, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box.
So during last winter I started doing workout videos and then during the summer I went back to her classes. It gave me a renewed love for weights and helped me build my strength back up. But once school started I was back to my same old excuse of it being too early. During the summer I'd come home and go back to bed or take a nap. I can't do that with school. So once fall hit I made a commitment to myself that I was going to lift at least twice a week at home. I have all the necessary equipment. So no more excuses! I would pick an exercise from a muscle group and do the following in a circuit and then repeat it 2 or 3 times. I liked to change it up every week and do different things. Quads: lunges, walking lunges, or jump lunges. Hamstrings: deadlifts, one legged deadlifts, or hamstring curl with a ball. Gludes: Squats, one legged squats, or butt lifts on the ball. Bicepts: Hammer curls, or regular curls. Tricepts: Skull crushers, tricept kickbacks, or overhead tricept presses. Shoulders: Overhead presses, frontal raises, or side raises. Chest: Push ups, chest flies, or chest presses. Back: Bent over rows or laying down lifts. Abs: Plank, side plank, lower lifts on a ball, the possibilities are endless. I started thinking about why I was doing this. I decided that the main reason I lift is to benefit my running. Sure, I like the benefits of burning more calories a day and the look of definition on my arms and legs and abs. But the main reason I lift is to improve my running. I want to run faster and farther and be able to do it injury free.
Once I had that goal in my mind I started wondering if what I was doing with my weights was really achieving that goal. I really love one legged deadlifts and one legged squats. They're just fun and it feels like a challenge. Sure, I was getting stronger, but was it really benefiting my running? About that time I came across an article that seemed to answer some of my questions. I decided that for a time I was going to switch up my routine and try this one. I printed it out and decided that I really liked it. I got sore and I like that all the movements involved are geared to making my running more efficient and keep those areas that tend to be weaker strong and injury resistant. The only thing I felt like it lacked was upper body. I added in some push ups and shoulder raises. After I had been doing that for a couple of weeks I read this article. It seemed to be the perfect balance. It had the everything I was looking for. So I've combined the two and I think ended up with the perfect full body work out to benefit my running.
Here is the order in which I do it in:
Active Warm Up: Carioka, High Knees turning into a skip, Frontal and then Side Leg Lifts, Donkey Kicks, and Sissors side to side and then front to back.
Strength and Balance Portion: Rocket Jumps (replaces jump offs from the first workout), Crossack Extension, Push ups, V-sits, Wrestlers Bridge, Single Leg Jumps, and Lateral Leaps. Then I repeat it for the 2nd set.
Core Stability: Rotating Knee Lift, Wood Choppers, Big Circles, Side Plank with a leg lift, and Bridge with a leg lift.
Stretching: I go through a yoga style stretch that includes downward dog, child's pose, pigeon pose, and then the groin stretch.
I like that it only takes about 35-40 minutes. I like that it has an active warm up. I am going to try to incorporate that part alone more before my normal runs to get the muscles and tendons ready to go. And it's a great way to get warmed up for the workout portion if you're not running before. I like to do it on the days I have an easy run or cross training. It says to start with 10 reps, work up to 15, and then do 2 sets of 10 reps. Last week I was able to do 2 sets of 15 reps with a 10 lb. weight. I still struggle with the V sits. And I haven't done the ball toss. As with any other weight work out you have to keep it fresh and increase the weight to continue to see results. I need to go buy a heavier medicine ball and I think I'll try for 3 sets in the next couple of weeks. I'd also like to do it 3 times a week instead of the 2 times that I've been doing. The great thing about plyometrics is that you can always jump higher or farther so you can't really outgrow them. The more I read about barefoot running and proper form, the more I realize that I need a super strong core. This workout is perfect for that. While I might not do this routine forever, it feels like a good fit for right now and I'll take it. If you don't have something you're totally in love with, you should try it out too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My own personal Castaway moment.

I first need to say that it is my super duper husband that is the canning king. I am just his meager assistant who does the grunt work. He is the driving force behind all the hard work in this family and we all are so grateful during the winter months for the good stuff we have to eat from our garden. He really is a great guy and one of these days I'll have to do a post devoted to just him. The only things that I have canned all by myself are jam and tomatoes. I was pretty darn proud of myself though. I grew up with a mom that canned and I had no interest in it whatsoever. She did it to save money because we were poor. Now that I'm older and wiser I do it for some of the same reasons. First, I want to save money wherever we can. Second, I want to know how to support myself and my family the best I can. Knowledge is a great thing. Third, I like to know what I'm eating. The less ingredients the better. And fourth, it's kind of fun. Not when you do it alone, but as far as a project with my husband and kids, it's fun.
This ended up being a pretty disappointing week. I know they all can't be winners but I hope to never repeat this week. It started last week with what I thought was a sinus infection. I was on the tail end of a cold when I started getting headaches and my teeth started hurting. I don't really like going to the doctor's so I postponed it telling myself that it would get better. I had been through this before and last time thought it was a tooth problem. I went to the dentist only to discover that they couldn't find anything. They thought it was a cracked tooth that they couldn't see, filed down my bite to change it, only to have it not work. After I saw my regular doctor we discovered that it was a sinus infection and I had my teeth filed for nothing. Errr. So this time I went to my regular doc, got an antibiotic only I didn't feel any better. It got worse. Advil and Tylenol started to not work. My doc gave me Lortab and that took the pain away but made me throw up. So after suffering all weekend I went to the dentist only to find out that I need a root canal. Yuck. He did part of it yesterday and I get to go on another antibiotic and go back in 3 weeks to finish it off. He says I should feel better in about 24-48 hours.
Saturday's long run didn't happen. And I haven't run since.
Wanna hear something really weird though? During the last two weeks while I was running or cycling, the pain would go away completely. Then as soon as I stopped the pain would come back 10 times as bad and I'd be in tears and pacing the floor, trying my lamaze breathing exercises, visualization, anything to get it to stop. Remember that scene in Castaway? Well if I could have pinpointed a specific tooth and had an ice skate handy, I would have been tempted. So it was either run nonstop during the day or suffer the wrath of the tooth pain afterwards. Needless to say that my sleep has suffered as well. I'm feeling optimistic that tomorrow should be a good day and I hope to run again and get things back to normal. I guess they all can't be good weeks.

Monday: 8.25 mile run in gorilla feet, core work and upper body
Tuesday: 2.5 mile run in socks, cycling class
Wednesday: 6.5 mile run in gorilla feet, full body weights
Friday: 3 mile run barefoot on treadmill, full body weights

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

7 Fruits and Veggies

At the end of last year, while finishing out Amanda's Holiday Bootie Buster, I decided that one of my new goals for the year needed to include her challenge to eat seven fruits and veggies every day. I will tell you that this is not an easy one for me. I am really good to get 3 or 4 but getting all 7 in takes planning. And to be honest, I still haven't managed to do it every day. But I figure that I'm still getting more than I used to and any small improvement is a step in the right direction. The biggest bonus of when I do get them in is that I'm full. I don't feel like I need the junk as much. I get tempted when I'm hungry and something sweet or salty (chips are a real problem for me) seem to be easier to reach for than preparing something healthy. So if I'm full, I'm not really looking for junk.
I had gotten a comment from Just Trying is for Little Girls a little while ago about how to fit them all in because I think it's a challenge for anyone who tried it. So here's how I've been cramming in my fruits and veggies. Some are things I did before and some things are new that hopefully will become a part of my routine, a habit, and a lifestyle change.
Breakfast: while I would much rather have a muffin, pancakes, or waffles, I choose to have oatmeal with blueberries or eggs with veggies. I can get one serving first thing in the morning.

Salmon, spinach, and salsa omelet.

Salsa is a great way to get in your veggies. We make our own from our garden. We use peppers, onions, tomatoes and lots of spices. I use salsa on a lot of things. It gives lots of flavor and since we made it, I know what went in it. It's good on baked potatoes, eggs, baked or grilled chicken, and of course, burritos.

Morning snack: includes usually an apple or an orange
Lunch: salads are an easy way to get at least 2 veggies in. If you have at least one cup of spinach and one cup of other various veggies. My favorite would be cucumbers, tomatoes, and broccoli. Soups are another great way to get veggies in at lunchtime. I find it hard to put a whole cup of fresh veggies in a sandwich so I usually have get some on the side as well if I choose to have that for lunch.

Afternoon snack: We have lots of fruit that we bottled ourselves and the kids like these for after school snacks with graham crackers. My favorite would be applesauce or pears.

The applesauce had no sugar added, just lots of spices and it tastes better than any store bought applesauce out there.

Lately, though, we have been enjoying smoothies. I requested money for a really nice blender for Christmas from my parents. We had been looking at the Vitamix or Blendtec. I wanted something that would use the whole fruit or vegetable that would puree it nicely instead of just a juicer. While doing a search for consumer comparisons we came across a Kitchen Aid model that seemed to do just as good of job but cost a whole heck of a lot less. I had my doubts but that's what we ended up getting. I love it. I have put in a whole orange and it purees it so quickly and so well. Granted that the peel is bitter and you have to put something in to make up for that, but that's o.k. This easily counts for 2 fruits and veggies.

This one had a banana, pear, orange, yogurt, and 2 handfuls of spinach. It was by far the sweetest one and despite it's green appearance was so good. All but one of my children drank it down. My 3rd child, and pickiest eater tried it and wrinkled her nose and refused. Oh well. At least she tasted it.

This one had blueberries, a whole orange, and spinach. It wasn't the best. It had a very bitter aftertaste. I learned that it needed some yogurt or more fruit. But I did drink the whole thing.

Dinner: I usually have 2 portions of veggies at dinner. And we like green beans and broccoli so that's mostly what we eat.

But here again, I love soups. If you use a tomato base and then add more veggies it can count as two. Soups won't work as well in the summer so I'm taking advantage while it's cold. I love soups. They're easy to make and can be so good for you!

We also made our own spaghetti sauce and it's so good! It's packed with onions, garlic, and peppers along with tomatoes and no sugar added. We made over 60 quarts last year and are just now about to run out. It makes me sad to think that we'll have to buy store sauce.

So there you have it. If I follow this as a guideline it's pretty easy to get them all in. However, we all have days where the plan just doesn't work. In these cases my cheater method is to drink V8. A regular size bottle is worth 3 veggies. The smaller cans are worth one. I am aware of the sodium content in these though and try not to do it too often. I've also tried the lower sodium version and it's not worth it. Yuck. Plus, the way I sweat and get cramps, I figure that sodium isn't hurting me too much.
What secrets do you use to get in your fruits and veggies?
What health benefits do you see the most from eating more fruits and veggies?
Does your whole family enjoy them?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shoes, Bare Feet, Marathon, and Speed Questions

Over the holidays I finally got rid of all of these for good. And I traded them for:


My bare feet are my favorite. That really surprises me. I didn't expect it to be so much fun. Yesterday's weather got me really excited for spring to get here. I can't wait for bare feet weather again! 45 degrees yesterday! No hat, no gloves, no socks!
The socks work really well when it's dry and I just need some insulation from the cold. The gorilla gloves are really fun to wear and unless it's really cold or there's slush or snow, they're my shoes of choice. But I love my Evo II's. If I wear socks they have kept my feet warm even in 5 degree weather. But they fit me much better without socks. I took the insole out from the first day and they have great ground feel. They are mostly water resistant, however I have come home with wet feet when there's been lots of snow. And the bright pink Newton's... well, they were the first shoe I bought after deciding that I wanted to change my form to a mid or forefoot strike. I like them. They just don't have the same ground feel that the other choices provide. I kind of wish I had done a little more research and just started barefoot like I should have. But I'm sure they will have their place. Maybe for some heavy duty hiking, I don't know. Maybe they're still good just to have in the rotation.

I just have to say a few words about these socks. First, they are super comfy. I do my laundry around these socks. I would wear them every single day. Second, the reason I bought them is because they are wool. I bought them in late summer thinking that they were keep me warmer in the winter. However, after it started to get cold this fall, I started wearing them when I couldn't go barefoot. They are superb. Third, they have a lifetime warranty. While this is awesome, I don't think I could in good conscience ever say that they wore out because I ran in them on asphalt roads. This pair has probably 20 miles on them. There is a tiny bit of wear, but hey, seriously? That is awesome! I told the lady at the running store what I had been doing and she thought it was great. She was going to use it as another selling point. They were a good Christmas gift for lots of friends and my in laws and myself. I have a small addiction with these socks.

Just for fun, this is a picture of me getting ready to cross the finish line at the Salt Lake Marathon in 2008. What's really good about this picture is the guy right in front of me in bare feet. I remember thinking that he was one tough guy. We ran on a closed section of the freeway that hurt my feet inside my shoes. I didn't know how he did it. I didn't know anything about barefoot running then. But it was my first introduction to the idea. Maybe that will be me someday.
That brings me to my last topic. I am signed up for the Ogden Marathon on May 21st. If I had known back in September what I know now, I would not have signed up. I would have taken this year off from any races and just worked on my form and building up the mileage slowly. I would have done quite a few things differently. Sadly, that does not change the fact that I am signed up and am going to run it. I just don't know what kind of footwear I am going to be sporting. I know I can't do it barefoot. I'm pretty dumb but not quite that dumb. I'm not sure if the Evo's would be too warm or if they would just be too snug after that many miles. The gorilla feet might work. I did get a small blister on the side of my foot yesterday when I wore them without socks. I guess I need to just body glide my entire foot? Maybe all of this will get worked out in the next couple of months through training. I guess I'll just have to do my 20 milers in each shoe and decide from there. Thoughts? Opinions?
O.k. This is really the last topic. A couple of weeks ago I sped home in my gorilla feet and ended up with some top of the foot pain that went away. I'm sure it was because my form got off because I sped up. So my question is: should I even attempt speed work for this marathon or should I bag it and just focus on good form? I could do hills instead of speed work. I just don't want to be injured again. That is my main goal. I have already decided that I won't worry about time and just focus on having an enjoyable day. I want to be relaxed, finish feeling good and strong. What do you think?

Monday: 6 mile run in Evo's
Tuesday: 4 mile run in Evo's (5 degrees), cycling class
Wednesday: full body weights, 4 mile run barefoot on treadmill
Thursday: 4.5 mile run in Evo's, cycling class
Friday: full body weights, 1 mile run barefoot on treadmill
Saturday: 15 miles in Evo's

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tagged for Randomness

Julie at Adventure is Out There tagged me and now I get to let you in on the secret private life I lead. Yeah, I have a blog, so nothing's really private. I have neighbors who know more about me than my parents just because they read my blog.
So here goes: 7 random things.
#1 It was 3 days before we were to be married and we hadn't found a place to live yet. The housing market was crazy. We'd wait at 7-11 on Tuesday night for the local paper to come and then I'd call as early Wednesday morning as I dared, only to find that the three rentals had been taken. The crazy thing was that I wasn't even worried. I knew something would come up because we were doing the right thing. And it did. We rented a small house and because of that I've never lived in an apartment. Ever. I wish I had that kind of faith now.
#2 I have this weird thing about having my kitchen chairs lined up properly. They have to be even and I can't go to bed or leave the house without them being right. And it's not just the chairs. I can tell when something's been moved even slightly from it's proper place. My poor kids and husband have no chance of sneaking anything unless they can remember how to put everything back exactly as they found it.
#3 I have 4 kids, a dog, and 6 chickens. My kids are constantly begging for more pets. I just hope the dog hangs in there long enough to see the last kid off. After the kids are gone, no more pets. I like animals, but it makes it difficult to travel.
#4 My youngest child will go to kindergarten next year and I am petrified of how my life will change. I am slightly afraid of being alone during the day. I am wondering what I will be as my life continues to change and the kids don't need me so much anymore. Will I go back to school? Will I get a job? I don't even know what I want to be when I grow up! (insert slight panic attack here.)
#5 I love to run. I am not fast. I have not had super great experiences with my marathons (besides my first) but I still love it and hope that those experiences will be stepping stones to a really great race someday.
#6 I am very realistic. I am known as the dream squasher at my house. This is not something I'm proud of and am trying to change. If you have a dream that's really far out there, I'll tell you all the reasons why it really won't work. I'm content with my life and sometimes thinking of major changes that might not work out scares me. That being said, I have been working for a year now on this and have come up with some dreams of my own. And I'm really trying to support others dreams (my husband's mostly) and not just shoot them down. I learned that sometimes he just wanted to dream for a while and already knew that realistically it wouldn't work. And I just needed to dream with him for a while. It was kind of breakthrough in our relationship.
#7 I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In other words, I am a Mormon. I am a Christian. I am not perfect, but try everyday to be a little better. I am completely devoted to my faith and it gives me comfort and joy every single day.

So there you are, a few things you may have already known or not about me!
Now to hear from you!
I tag:
And anyone else who wants to tell me more about them! I love random stuff! Leave me a comment or do a post on your blog!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

With the knowledge we have

I heard something on the radio last week that put into words what I've been feeling for a while now and didn't know quite how to express before. But it's such a good analogy that I want to share it.
With our new Congress ready to act, they decided to read the Constitution before going into session. However, they left out parts of the Constitution that were integral to the history of our country. Probably because they didn't want to start controversy or try to explain it. For whatever reason, they left out the 3/5th compromise. I honestly hadn't heard of this before and obviously need to do a little brushing up on my history. The 3/5th compromise is the standard by which blacks were measured back then. Blacks were counted as 3/5th of a person. It's right there in the constitution. Upon hearing that I was a little mad. Even a little outraged. Thinking of the inequality that existed back then makes me angry. And I was a little disappointed in our founding fathers for allowing it be written that way. Then I asked, "why?"
The answer was simply that it was for the census to decide representation for the states. The founding fathers wanted them to be counted as zero to begin with. The southern states wanted them to be counted as a full person. Why the discrepancy? Well, if they were counted as people, the southern states would get so much representation that slavery would never be overturned. They would have all the power. The founders knew that the people that were being counted would not be represented fairly and reasoned that if they were slaves, they were property and shouldn't be counted at all. They compromised and declared them worth 3/5th of a person. If it were not for that compromise our country would not be the same today. In fact we may well have ended up as two separate countries.
With that knowledge of the "why" behind it, I totally agree with what our founding fathers did. They had the country's best interest in mind and had foresight and faith that slavery would eventually be overturned.
How does this relate to running? Simple. We do the best with the knowledge we have in the moment. I get discouraged when I hear of or see others bickering about the different types of runners. Whether it's barefoot runners who are upset that Vibrams are being called barefoot shoes or runners in normal shoes telling the barefoot runners that they are going to get injured or they're just following the latest fad. Or barefoot runners feeling superior to everyone else. It just makes me sad. We're all runners. Trying to be heathy and have fun at the same time. We all have goals. We're all just doing the best with the information that we have today.
I have had a great support system while transitioning. I have heard a few things, but overall, I have had nothing but support. My husband teases me about being a hippie. But he's happy when I'm happy and I've even gotten him to take off his shoes on the treadmill. My in-laws have been huge supporters. And most of my friends don't think I'm insane. Heather is my partner in almost all I do and I'm so glad she loves it as much as I do. So it makes me sad when I see others struggling with negative comments. It's easy to tell them to brush it off or ignore them, it's a harder thing to actually do.
When I first started running I bought the cutest pair of shoes. The cutestness factor was how I picked them. I didn't know much about running.
Years ago I knew the best way to get shoes was to go to the running store and get fit for the type of shoe that was best for my foot. They measured my arch. They watched me run. And the more cushioning the better.
After years of researching, listening to others, having my own life experiences and reading a lot, I now know that landing midfoot is better for my body. It's using my body the way it was designed. And I know that going barefoot is the best way to figure out how to land correctly.
Yet, who knows what the future will hold? Who knows what the next big discovery in running will be? I think it will be hard to improve on God's creation though. Our foot is a pretty magnificent design. The more I learn about it, the more amazed I am. And I just want to try and use it the way it was made to be used. And I'm having a whole lot of fun in the process.
So I guess the whole point of this little post is to remind us all that we're all just doing the best we have with the knowledge we have. It doesn't matter if it's religion, politics, education, or running. It doesn't help to judge other people around you that are just doing the best with the knowledge that they have. I think back to my initial reaction to the 3/5th compromise. I was angry. I could have quit there and just been mad and called our founding fathers racist. But with knowledge I then understood and turned my opinion around 180 degrees. It's funny how that happens. I guess I would just hope for everyone to be understanding and patient with each other. We're all out there with the same goal in mind. Sometimes we just take different paths to get there and that's o.k. too. We should be on the same side. In the end we're all still just runners.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The trail run that saved the week

Last week sucked. Monday was cold. I mean really cold. Like 8 degrees cold. I've been out in temperatures lower than that, but Monday felt so much colder. I think it was the wind and it was humid. I wore my monkey feet and my toes warmed up after about 2 miles. Then after a comfortable cold 2 miles they started to freeze again. Then my face went numb and I swear my contacts started freezing to my eyeballs. Is that even possible? I cruised home as fast as I could those last 2 miles just to get out of the weather. My face hurt. (Yeah, I know the joke... does your face hurt? Well it hurts me. ha. ha.) Anyway, I couldn't get myself to do it again on Tuesday. Plus, the top of my foot was aching. I think that little 2 mile sprint home caused my form to not be so good. Perfect. So I ran an easy 3 miles barefoot on the treadmill and went to spinning that night. Wednesday comes and I decide that I can't do the treadmill every day. Mentally I can't do it. So I stuck on my Evo's and went outside. Cold wind again. However, my feet stay much warmer in shoes. Duh. Foot pain is slightly better. Thursday I decide to barefoot it again to evaluate my form. And to stay out of the cold. No foot pain. But the 3.5 miles felt long. Not a good sign. I still went to spinning that night even though I really didn't want to. Friday I did nothing. Yep, nothing. I was going to run outside and then was going to get on the treadmill and then decided to take a hot bath instead. I felt burned out and just plain tired. It's crazy how the start of the week seemed to determine the whole rest of the week for me. I stuck it out until Friday and then just needed a break. I didn't even feel guilty about it either.
However, I was really looking forward to Saturday. My husband and son were going fishing and earlier we had found a jeep trail that goes over the mountain to where they were going. It looked like vehicles had been on it recently and so I decided that I was going to get dropped off at the trailhead and then run to where they were fishing. I could wait in the lodge until they were done and everyone would be happy. I decided to invite Heather and her husband and son and we made a date of it. I had been excited all week long to do this. We got to the drop off point and discovered that the snow plows had pushed snow in front of the trail head and there was 8 inches of powder on the trail. It was not going to work. Maybe if I had thought to bring the snowshoes... But we just were not prepared for cold and wet feet the whole way. We tried it for about 20 feet and then turned around. Major bummer. We got dropped off at another point along the way and ran a hilly 6.5 miles on the road. I can't say how disappointed I felt. I had been looking forward to a trail run and this road running was not cutting it. I tried to cheer myself up because I was with Heather after all and I was on a run somewhere different than I normally run and it was beautiful.

Before we got to the fishing spot, we came to the other side of the trail. It was fine on this end. We couldn't figure it out. How were vehicles getting to this side when the other side was completely blocked? So we decided to run it for a while to see where it got bad.

I can't say how it rejuvenated me. It was gorgeous. Everything was white, even the sky. It was SO quiet. I don't think I've ever felt that kind of quiet before. Ever. It was almost spiritual. We ran and ran until we could see the other side of the mountain. I still don't know where it got bad or where they would turn around to get back out. But I can't wait to go try again and find out. The roads were icy and we had to constantly be scanning the terrain. But that's why I love trail running. Your mind is always busy but completely empty of everything else. Did that make sense?

When we turned around to head back I realized we were running downhill. I was having such a good time that I hadn't even noticed it was all uphill on the way there. There were a few times that I felt like I was flying over the top of the snow. I've decided that hard packed snow trails are the best.

We got back to the road and headed to the fishing spot. I noticed my feet were feeling tired and it was probably a good thing we were almost done. All that uneven surfaces, ice and rocks had taken it's toll. On the way back we saw wild turkeys, a couple of bald eagles and heard mice in the weeds beside us. We had hot cider in the lodge and only had to wait 15 minutes or so for the boys to be done fishing. That run was easily the highlight of my week. I can't wait to go back and do it again.

Monday: 6 miles in gorilla feet
Tuesday: 3 miles barefoot on treadmill, full body weights, cycling class
Wednesday: 6 miles in Evo's
Thursday: 3.5 miles barefoot on treadmill, full body weights, cycling class
Saturday: 13 miles in Evo's (5 miles trail)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

HBBC Virtual New Year's Day Run

I got the new year off to a good start thanks to Amanda and her New Year's Day Run. Since I don't get to be in Florida and really run it, I got to do it virtually on my own. Well, I did have my trusty running partner, Heather with me. We did a nice 6 mile loop in our gorilla feet. Even in 9 degree weather my feet got warm after about a mile and stayed that way. As long as it's not wet and cold, they seem to work well.

My goal for next year is to eat 7 fruits and veggies every day. It will be a challenge. But it's getting easier every day. I hope by next year it will just be old hat and a habit.

Then in the afternoon we headed out to try out our new Christmas presents of snowshoes. It was super fun. It's quite the opposite workout of being barefoot. I was warm as long as we were in the sun and were moving. It had warmed up to 12 degrees by then. But in the shade my face got really cold.

Janz (the husband) and Justin (the 16 year old) went along and everyone had a good time. We'll be doing more of that in the future. It was a really beautiful day.

By the end my feet were the only things that were cold. I need to improve what I wear on my feet for the next time we go. I've read that some neoprene booties for cycling are good to wear over your shoes so I think I'll go look for some of those. What a good way to start the new year!

I also had a really great 15 mile run this week. No long run feeling in the legs and I could have gone farther. But it was the farthest I've been in my Evo's by a couple of miles and my feet were feeling tired by the end. But over all, I felt so good. Of course it was just a nice and easy run. But it was good form check almost the whole run. The roads were sheets of ice with tiny spots of asphalt. I loved every minute of it. There were a few scary moments and there were lots of great moments where everything was just clicking. I loved the feeling of flying over the ice. I didn't fuel the whole time except for some water. I'm really nervous because I know I can't do that on marathon day. But I really have a hard time with my stomach. That's one thing that I need to get figured out before May.
I hope everyone had a great New Year's!

Monday: 6.5 mile run in Evo's
Tuesday: 8 mile run in Evo's, full body weights, yoga
Wednesday: 6 mile run in Evo's
Thursday: 15 mile run in Evo's
Friday: full body weights, yoga
Saturday: 6 mile run in gorilla feet, 1 hour snowshoeing