Mo’ Training, Week 9

I’m feeling pretty comfortable with my mileage this week. I hit my runs (some with more enthusiasm than others) and everything seems to be going along pretty okay. I mean, not stellar, because I’m just perpetually achy around my hips, but I’d rather than pain that the knee discomfort I felt all of August. The big thing this week is that the treadmill is not feeling awesome at all. It’s hurting more to run on it that in is to go outside. Fortunately, the forecast for the foreseeable future (how’s that for alliteration?) is completely in my favor with highs in the low 70s, so I’ll be pushing my runs outside and after work. I’d love to run earlier in the day, but my workday starts at 6am, and I’m just not that comfortable running in the dark.

Other than the tightness in my hips, I have a toenail that’s been purplish for a few weeks and a blister that’s starting to heal nicely. Unsure if the toenail has given up on life or not. Time will tell, I guess.

Also, I tried out running this morning while listening to a book on my iPod shuffle – and wow! Totally engaging. I’m definitely doing that more often from now on.

Three weeks to go!

- K

Mo’ Training, Week 8: unscheduled R&R

Obviously if you read my last post, I fully intended to hit all my runs this week while on vacation. Surprise surprise: that totally didn’t happen. I got in a decent 4 mile run on Tuesday, but didn’t hit my Wednesday or Friday runs at all. I was seriously sleep deprived – not from partying it up every night, but because our beach house had very thin walls, and I could hear my parents every morning super early as they got up, stomped around, opened and closed the sliding glass door to their porch (which would happen OMG SO MANY TIMES because one would go out, then another, then someone wanted coffee, but someone else forgot their book, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PICK ONE: IN OR OUT). Now, you’d think this would set me up for a good early morning run. I mean, if I wasn’t so grouchy from lack of sleep, that is. The heat and humidity, however, did not abate at all (good for beach week, bad for running). And towards the end of the week, I succumbed to a particularly murderous episode of PMS which not only contributed to my foul mood but also had me waking up at least five times a night my last two nights there due to cramping and a fervent desire not to ruin the sheets. (Yeah, sorry, tmi, deal with it.) On the plus side, though, the break in running got me to rest, and the lingering discomfort I’d been feeling in my left knee is all but gone.

I drove back out to the midwest yesterday, the usual 11.5 hour drive. It wasn’t bad, but sitting in a car that long is kind of hellacious, so I knew I was going to run for sure today. Probably shorter than the 9 miles my plan called for, since I hadn’t run since Tuesday. When I woke up this morning to clear skies and temps in the high 50s, I took it as a sign. I drove over to the military base where I work and went out on the 10K running trail there. I’ve never ran the full thing (mostly because it can get a little isolated at times – not a safety concern, just boredom). It was pretty stellar, I have to say. I was really happy with my pace and time, and my legs feel decent. I also ran pretty light – no cell phone or music, just my garmin – and was okay with that as well. Keeping my ears free of music helped me focus on what I was doing and how I was doing it. (Although I did get a specific refrain of a song from Evita stuck in my head for like two miles mid-run … seriously what the hell random?)

So now I’m back home and have nothing major planned for the next four weeks as I gear up for this half marathon. I’m renewed, focused and determined. I’m ready to work for that PR.

- K

Mo’ Training, week 7 (another late post)

This post is definitely going to be short, because I’m writing it on my phone. I’m not totally comfortable with this format, but I’m on vacation and the phone is my only option. Last week’s runs went really well. I increased my mileage using a new plan and felt pretty great. My runs on Thursday and Friday were particularly awesome, because I was at my parents’ place in Virginia, and their neighborhood has some really fantastic running trails. I was supposed to get my long run in yesterday, but has to cut it short due to some pretty serious humidity here at the beach. I’m really going to make my next mid-week runs really count to try and make up for that. Other than that, things aren’t bad. I’m going to try and enjoy the hell out of this week at the beach … And with just over a month remaining, I’m really going to buckle down as soon as vacation is over.
– K

Mo’ Training, week 6

I thought I might have more to say about this week’s training, but this is probably going to be a short update. Overall, I can’t really complain about this week’s effort. Solid runs, all, but I feel some doubts creeping in. In between my own traveling, thunderstorms, or this week’s excessive heat, I haven’t really been able to get my long runs in outside. Which really bothers me. I mean, the midweek work on the treadmill is great, but I’m still unsure about the longer distances. So I’m adjusting things a touch and switching over to a Runner’s World half marathon plan. It’s not a huge difference, but the midweek mileage is slightly higher. Granted, it’s not going to help me figure out how to work in an outdoor long run, but  I feel like it might be able to give me a better base to work with. And with my goal half coming up in 6 weeks, I think it’s enough time to help (rather than hurt) my training.

Are you training for anything this summer? How do you deal with the “doubts”?

- K

Mo’ Training, Week 5

This week felt really good. After having been so busy the past few weeks, it was nice to only have to worry about normal life and work stuff … and my morning runs. It was the kind of week where every morning I wished I didn’t have to go into work so early because the weather was just so darn perfect for outdoor runs. But I realize I’m pretty fortunate to have my own treadmill and a first floor apartment so my 4am (or 3am) runs don’t bother anyone but myself. I’m going to have to move my Wednesday alarm back a little bit just so I don’t feel so rushed – it’s not a long run day, but it’s about to increase over 4 miles that morning (according to the plan I’m using) and I’m already feeling a little rushed to get myself presentable, eat breakfast, and out the door by 5:30.

Now this weekend? A completely different story. I had myself prepped for a good long run. I even bought a little handheld 10oz water bottle just to be safe. I was going to run a good outdoor jogging path I knew near work. I was ready, dammit. And then I looked out the window Saturday morning to a grey, windy, rainy, and occasionally thundery morning. A quick glance to the weather forecast and radar told me an outdoor run wasn’t in the cards. Looking back at the past few weekends – two weeks ago, I cut my run from 6 miles to 3 because I was so run down and having real pain in my quads, then last week I skipped my 7 mile long run entirely because my travel plans really didn’t afford me the opportunity for it – well, I knew I needed to run. So I geared up for the treadmill. I had 8 miles on the plan, but knowing I didn’t hit my distances the last two weeks, I decided anything between 6-8 miles would work for me. I’m not truing to overextend myself and I definitely don’t want to get hurt. It wasn’t totally boring, as I had The Lost World on the TV while running, but … yeah. Could have been better. Anyways, towards the 6 mile mark, my hip flexors were tightening up pretty significantly (something I’ve experienced in a few half marathons that I hadn’t really prepped for), so I decided 6 miles was just as good a distance as any.

It’s another rainy morning after a night full of thunderstorms, so I’ve settled in for a lazy day. Rest, stretch, and Netflix. Happy weekend, y’all.

- K

Mo’ Training, week 4 (a day late and a workout short)

So, last week was busy. I was working what amounted to 12-hour days Monday-Thursday due to some in-house training I was attending. Fortunately, my weekday short runs went well and I finally finally worked out whatever’s been plaguing my left quad and knee on Wednesday. Not sure what it was, but all of a sudden, I was good to go, so I’m not going to complain.

Early Friday morning, I traveled out to North Carolina for a quick trip revolving around some family stuff. Despite my best intentions, I didn’t have a lot of time to work with for Saturday’s long run, the locations nearby were less than optimal (country road with 55mph speed limit and no shoulder to speak of), and the weather dreary and rainy. So I waved off and just enjoyed the time with family. I flew back yesterday evening, making it home around 8pm, and decided that long run was just going to have to be a scratch. Life happens, and I’m not going to stress over it.

I’m at home the next two and a half weeks, thankfully, so I’ll be making sure to work in some lost miles in the meantime before I head back out east for my family’s beach week vacation.

How do you cope when travel/life interferes with your workout plans? 

- K

Mo’ Training, week 3

Oh, to think I was worried about my workouts while I was on a work trip … hilarious.

So I spent the week in Florida, at a location where the people who actually live there are super fit because their job basically requires them to be superman (or -men, as it were). While my trip basically involved having my rear end parked in an auditorium for 8 hours a day, I at least had ample access to gym facilities – heck, the closest one was a short walk from where I was staying. So my midweek runs (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) went well. I mean, seriously well. Despite the fact that I kept out late (well, if 10pm is late) every evening since my brother-in-law was also in Florida for work (totally separate from my reason for being there), I managed to get my tail to the gym when it opened at 5am and knock out some pretty stellar miles for me.

Now, my weekend long run? That’s a different story.

I was flying back Friday evening – first a short jaunt to Atlanta, 2 hour layover, then another brief flight to St Louis, followed by a half hour commute home from the airport.I don’t know if it was the beers or the flying or all the weird food I’d been eating all week, but I was bloated and (sorry – tmi) gassy as all gets. I was NOT feeling good when I finally got home around midnight. At all. Then when I turned on my a/c, my smoke alarm started chirping because it’s an asshole. (Not really, it just needed to get dusted, but it’s still an asshole.) I woke up the next day when a decent array of what I call “travel bruises” on my legs – you know, I but my bag on my leg, my leg hits the armrest on the plane … basically I’m just clumsy, and this happens every trip. I didn’t feel great, and my loud ass upstairs neighbor was in the process of moving, so it literally sounded like he was about to stomp through my ceiling. I was in a crap mood, I had nothing to eat in the apartment, but I hopped on the treadmill anyways … and promptly stepped off two minutes later. Nope, I thought. Not happening. So I rested yesterday and foam rolled, trying to work some kinks out of my quads.

This morning I got up feeling marginally better than yesterday, but still not awesome. My plan was to take it slow, do gradual speed increases listen to how I was feeling, but don’t give in to the first sign of discomfort. I kept things easy, though I’ll admit that Bob isn’t the easiest treadmill and the ones I’d been using all week in Florida were giving me much better times and easier miles. About halfway through my goal miles for the day, I started to feel my form slip, my legs tweaking, and decided to call it quits there before anything started really hurting. I’m a little disappointed in myself, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

This week? My midweek runs should be okay, but I’ve got a short weekend trip to North Carolina that’s causing my some angst where my long run is concerned. I’ll just have to take that as it comes, I guess.

- K


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