Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another Month Bites the Dust

32 days of running! Guess what I'm doing tomorrow? Not running. It was an interesting experiment though. I realized that I can, indeed, get my feet out the door no matter what sort of excuse I try to come up with. The quality of my running probably suffered, my body is feeling the cumulative effects of no rest day in over a month, and my biking and swimming sort of took a back seat. But here are the positives: I still love running, my form has changed (in a good way I think), and I covered 91.5 miles on my feet. While healing from a possible stress fracture. I'll call that a "win".

* Swim 2x/week
* Ride 50 miles/week
* Lose 5 pounds
That doesn't sound so difficult, right?

Monday, January 25, 2010

2010 Vancouver Lake Half Marathon

It's that time of year again. Icy rain, howling winds, and bone chilling temperatures have loomed over us for the last couple of months. And that's what is in the forecast for the next 30-something days. For those of us who participate in endurance sports during the warmer months, we are likely just starting to get back into the groove of some semblance of training. The aftermath of the holidays still clinging to our midsections. Our ability to go long hasn't quite gone away, but our ability to go fast is sort of missing. We look at the calendars, and HAH! OH LOOKSY! A half-marathon is on the calendar. Tomorrow.

And so it happened that on Sunday morning I woke up early, mixed my nutrition bottles, prepped my gear, and went through all of the pre-race routines like I have done so many times in the past. Despite the lackluster feel to the whole thing, I was excited to ride my bike to the event with Julie. And I was looking forward to seeing some tri peeps that I haven't visited with in a couple of months.

I tossed all of my stuff into a backpack, and headed out on my squeaking Cervelo (it really needs a tune-up!) to meet Julie in downtown Vancouver. At about the same time we met up, the first sprinkles started to fall out of the sky. A mile later the sprinkles had turned into a steady drizzle. Pretty soon I was squinting to keep the sideways raindrops from pelting my eyeballs. As we were turning into the park, her rear tire went flat. My rear tire stopped turning because of the amount of wet road crud lodged between the tire and frame. We dismounted and hoofed it the rest of the way in. Not exactly a motivating start to our day.

After getting our packets and changing into some dry clothes, we met up with Mark (my running partner for this race for the THIRD year in a row!) and huddled in Ken's car until it was time to line up at the start. I don't recall a bang or a boom. We all just started moving forward.

And then we ran 13.1 miles in the cold rain. Then finished. Then rounded up in dry clothes for bloodies and burgers.

Final time = 2:29:17. About a minute slower than last year and 4 minutes slower than a PR. Not bad, not great, just another 13.1 mile run.

Big thanks to Mark for keeping me company with fun chatter again this year. So much fun! And thanks to The Hubs for standing out in the rain and waiting for your slow wife to finally cross the finish line.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mid-January Ramblings

I just finished Run #20. It's my longest days in a row of running ever. There were a few days that I walked, due to the healing stress fracture. And a handful of days where I really only ran 1 mile. It's starting to become a routine and not as much of an inconvenience as it was a couple of weeks ago. I wonder if I can go all year? Okay, okay, I better just get through the month for starters. I'm just over 52 miles for January. Not spectacular, but not too shabby with the obstacles thrown my way so far.

Here I am heading out for Run #13. Since 13 has been my lucky number since high school sports, this seemed monumental for some reason. It doesn't seem that way so much anymore, but here is the picture anyway.
I still haven't been to the pool. It's been over a month now. One of the reasons (and admittedly not a very good one) is that the only swim cap I have is a condom colored latex one left over from a local triathlon. I also have the one from my Ironman, but I'm not wearing that and risking ruining it. All of my silicon caps were either lost or ripped right before IMAZ. But, yesterday I came home to a box of caps from TYR. Here is my favorite. So, no more excuses this week.

On tonight's run, I was chased by TWO different dogs. My run was all of 1.13 miles. Yes, TWO dogs in just over ONE mile. I understand that pets get loose once in awhile, but I see dogs out all the time. Irresponsible owners. Right after I'm done with this post, I'm purchasing some of this:And anything that threatens me while I'm out by myself (dog, squirrel, stupid teenage boys that insist on yelling lewd comments at me) is getting a nice long spray up the sinuses.

To end this post on a happy note, I feel obligated to let everyone know that I have found coffee nirvana. A micro-roaster just opened up down the street from my house. It is always packed. Like standing-room-only packed. I was curious, so I bought a couple of pounds while out for one of my runs. I brewed some up the next morning. Ooooooh wow. Good stuff. Good good stuff.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Das Foot

The results from my foot appointment today...inconclusive. All signs point to stress fracture. Except for the x-rays. Not a sign of anything, which is awesome. But apparently these sorts of things don't always show up right away. I left the docs office with a prescription for a mega anti-inflammatory, instructions for hot/cold treatment to get circulation to the area to promote healing, and a stern warning about my activities over the next 3 weeks. I go back in 4 weeks for more x-rays and see how things are healing up. The pluses: I don't have to wear a boot (!!!!). I am allowed to run in the near future if I keep it short, stop when it hurts, and wear shoes. I can bike as much as I want. The bummers: I have to keep my distances super duper short and I have to do it wearing shoes. Preferably shoes that are stiff enough that you can't roll them into a ball. Clearly, my doc doesn't understand the allure of having your feet free. And during the day I am to wear my Danskos (the compromise to not having to wear a boot).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The January Challenge has been in effect for 10 days now. I have ran for 11 days in a row, since I also went for a run on NYE. My longest running streak ever. How is everyone else doing on it? We're almost half way there!

None of my 11 runs have been very long (6 miles max), and some of them were only exactly 1 mile. But getting out the door every day for at least one mile has been a suprising challenge. It has highlighted how I have an excuse for everything and can rationalize just about anything to myself. "Oh, just this one cookie, I was good all day" or "it's okay if I skip this one workout, I'll just do extra tomorrow" or "I'm just not feeling so hot and it's okay to cheat/rest/be a total sloth today". However, when I put a challenge out for myself and really dedicate to it, I have a tendancy to stick with it to a fault. I'm battling an injury in my may be minor or it may be major, I don't know yet...but I have still ran every day this month. Because I said I would. Which leads me to my next challenge for February. I think it should be food based, but I haven't decided yet. Maybe no sugar, or no processed food, or something like that.

My week in review:
I worked a lot. The first part of the year is always nuts-to-the-wall crazy for me. It's okay, since it's not a year round thing, but it's hard to adjust after having the holidays off. So I spent most of this week either working, running my 1 mile for the day, or sleeping.

I succeeded in eating healthy all week. The only sugar/processed food that I consumed was in the form of chocolate covered espresso beans (these things are what got me through the week) and a little bit of ice cream on a couple of evenings. I feel 10 times better because of it.

Since I can't seem to get up when the alarm goes off at 4:30, all of my runs have been done after work. In the dark. I have almost been mowed down by cars like 6 times this week. So I bought a new reflective vest. (Please excuse the had been a long day.)
And, as much as I hate to admit this, I have done too much too soon while barefoot or in the Vibrams. And I hurted my footses. Rookie mistake. Even worse, I sort of knew that I was doing it. But I loved being barefoot so much, that I didn't want to stop. And after being barefoot or in the Vibrams, my regular runners felt like I was wearing truck tires on my feet. So even when my foot hurt, I resisted going back to the running shoes. *Sigh*. I tried to compromise by getting a pair of racing flats, but the damage is done. I see the tootsie doctor tomorrow. Please think positive thoughts that it is only an irritation. That half marathon in 2 weeks should be a blast...
I managed to get a couple of trainer rides in. And 1 glorious outdoor ride -- AWESOME in January! Sadly, we forgot to take a photo. Total training for the week = 6 hours.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Snowshoeing Adventures

After saying "we can't wait to go snowshoeing" a bunch of times, and then life getting in the way a bunch of times, we finally went over New Years weekend for the first time this winter. Jeff, Julie, Ken, and I headed up towards Mt. Hood with no particular place in mind and in no real hurry to get there. Coffee, cookies (of course), and a bit of Miley sing-a-long started our day. An hour or so later we ended up at the sno-park for Trillium Lake.
Here's Julie, somewhere between the parking lot and the lake.And Ken with his behind-the-shoulder model pose.
The lake is about 2 miles in, mostly downhill. We stopped there for a little picnic of snacks (crackers, cheese, salami, and dill dip) and drinks (mimosas, peppermint patties, and wine). Hey, a heavy backpack = a better workout. So yeah, Ken and Jeff got a better workout. :-)
Jeff was the first to jump in the snow and make an angel. Awesome idea, except had he taken about 2 more steps, he would probably still be a the bottom of Trillium Lake.
Instead of coming back out the way we came, we decided to finish going around the lake and do the full loop. I think the reasoning at the time was that it was shorter to go that way, but in hindsight, that makes no sense at all. It was still a pretty easy 5ish miles. And we came across a great field perfect for snowball fights and making snowgirls!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Training Goals

This is how far I swam, biked, and ran in 2009. From Bellingham, WA to Miami, FL. Over 100 miles of swimming, almost 3000 biking, and 7 miles short of running 600 miles.

Here are my training distance goals for 2010. Maybe a little ambitious in some regards, but setting easy-to-achieve goals kind of defeats the purpose I think.
Swim - 250,000 meters
Bike - 4000 miles
Run - 900 miles

I better go get my running gear together...

The January Challenge

Jenn and I are in. Who else wants in on the fun?

The challenge:
Run at least 1 mile each day during the month of January.

The rules:
- Run at least 1 mile per calendar day, even days before and after a race
- Walking doesn't count unless you are barefoot, sick, or injured
- Snowshoeing counts, but only for half the mileage (e.g. 4 miles of snowshoeing = 2 miles of running)