Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Musings

I am behind on this and I know it. But gentle readers I must also point out no one submitted their favorite workout tunes. Enough said, we're even.

Last Saturday's run was eight miles -- done it once so I knew I could do it again. Only complaints - 90+ degrees and nasty humidity. The location was ok - Pierce Mill section of Rock Creek Park. It's Coach Rich's favorite which may have something to do with the fact that there seemed to be less bikers. I love the Capital Crescent Trail (maybe because it's where it all began on May 20th) but even at 0700 on a Saturday morning there are TONS of bikers. On the way home from the run I reflected that what gets me through the long runs is the joy of the back of the pack. I admit it, I envy the 8-10 minute mile group, but did you sing on your long run last Saturday? And not just any song but Buttercup. Take that you speedsters.

Tuesday was a treadmill day -- though Anne and Sarah say I get points for dedication. (I say I get penalized for laziness on Tuesday morning when the alarm went off at 0500 and I ignored it). Anne, Sarah and I are knitters and we decided to take a class at Stitch DC. (the best knitting store in the District). So at darn near 10 pm I was hitting the treadmill when I finally made it home from the Eastern Market station. I did add a few items to my workout mix on the i-pod to spice things up, but that doesn't mean y'all are off the hook!

Last night was probably the most challenging mid-week run ever. As Stro pointed out when we were done I faced (and conquered) several challenges in one 4 mile run and didn't really struggle until the last half mile. It was the usual 90 degree muggy weather (sadly I take that as a given) but since I had forgotten my water bottle and waist pack I had to carry my water. Coach Rich is right -- that really does throw off your gait. We had a luncheon at work and I have now figured out that even 5+ hours later enchiladas can really throw you off. Stro is a marathoner and her mileage mid-week has been increased to 4 miles so I had a new distance and route. Add to that we decided to run 5:1 and it's no wonder I was wrecked when I finished. And if all that wasn't enough the red line towards Glenmont required at 15 minute wait. Ugh.

Coach Rich has given us a preview of tomorrow's route. He split the distance -- marathoners are scheduled to run 12 miles and half-marathoners are scheduled to run 10 miles. He has an 11 mile route he likes so guess what - we're all running 11 miles. Fun times, I know you all secretly envy me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sick of the Treadmill

Well it was bound to happen at some point in my training -- it would be so ridiculously hot that outdoor running would be mildly dangerous instead of just mildly masochistic. With a heat index of 105, Tuesday definitely qualified. (As if I needed any further incentive to run indoors the Navy declared Tuesday a black flag day -- all outdoor physical training was cancelled.)

But the flip side is the sheer mononity of it. Forty minutes seems like drudgery -- and it doesn't help I am stuck in a music rut on my i-pod. So my devoted readers bring on your favorite exercise songs ... the heat is breaking a little but I am sure there are a few more treadmill days in my future.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A little excitement on the trail

By now I have overcome the early rising on Saturday morning for group runs, but last night on the GW Parkway I looked through the smog near Arlington Cemetry and noticed I could barely see the Georgetown campus. This didn't add to my excitement for today's run - I had already run Thursday night and come back dripping head to toe. YUCK.

Today's run was only 6 miles on the Capital Crescent Trail - familiar distance in a familiar place -- not much excitement to look forward to. Now we're used to trail manners about bikers but police cars?!? Somewhere between mile 8.5 and 9, there was a police car. At first it seemed like they were there for the tree on the trail - until you realized the tree got on the trail when someone drove down the path and crashed down into the gulch on the side of the trail! I have my trusty Washington Post reader (aka my mother) on the case and I'll post an update when I find out more. What we do know is that after we turned around at Thompson's Boat House and headed back to Fletcher's one of the police cars was escorting the driver away in hand-cuffs. It was a pity the camera phone was in the car!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Good things (Not the kind that Martha makes)

If one is going to haul oneself out of bed at 0530 on a Saturday morning, there better be some spiffy gear to put on. For once I tried to go slow on the purchasing (had to prove to myself I'd make it more than 2 weeks) but lately I have been in acquisition mode - something about not wanting to do laundry 3 times a week to have clean running clothes I think.

The shoes - Asics GT 2110 - They are a motion control shoe (keeps my feet from rolling in, but also works for people who roll their feet out). My first pair was a lovely periwinkle and silver combination and I was very excited to discover them in a turquoise silver combo. (All the better to tell the two pairs apart, although a nameless killjoy pointed out a magic marker would have worked too!) As you can see from the link I can look forward to lime or orange shoes as well. Running shoes have this great side benefit (from the point of view of major shoe buyer) - you have built-in excuse to replace them as the cushioning is only good for 350-400 miles. How cool is that? No one can ever say "do you really NEED new running shoes?" Because as long as you keep running you can answer "YES, I do!"

The water bottle - I didn't have a choice on this purchase -- it's mandatory to carry water for TNT. I have however been through two different ones. I prefer my second one (pictured in the link) because the bottle is 6 oz. larger and it has a pocket for my keys. I accidently bought the one with a 4 oz bonus bottle for gel or gu... which is amusing because I can't stand the stuff.

I prefer to replenish electolytes with Gatorade though I have recently become a convert of sport beans and Clif Bloks. I love jelly beans and gummy type candy so these two are far preferable to the slimey sugariness that is gel or gu. For the uninitiated the best description I have heard of gel/gu is that is something like super thick, sweet buttercream frosting. (not the vegetable shortening grocery store kind, but the kind on wedding cakes). Um, sure that sounds appealing while you're sweating away runnning, right?

After years of working out in cotton t-shirts I was skeptical about the synthetics that claim to wick moisture. They I ran in my stylish Nike Dri-fit TNT shirt and I was hooked. The synthetics are lighter and stick to you less. I have sampled Nike, Brooks and Adias and my personal favorite is the Adidas. As evidence of my committment to keep running come fall, I just acquired this stylish long sleeve number.

There was no crafty goodness in my good things list - but I think it's more fun than Martha's good things.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

We're going the distance...

... and that repeat was in my head over and over as I slogged through eight, count 'em eight miles. No boys and girls this is not a typo. (although I had a moment where I was convinced it was because the half marathoners did eight miles today and full marathoners had a recovery week with six miles). Should you like to similarly torture yourself I have thoughtfully provided the means with the route below:

The Route

Highlights: Finally saw the new World War II Memorial. It's gorgeous but I am annoyed with the National Park Service that the lovely bathrooms weren't open! Lows: It was eight miles, enough said.

For all of you keeping score on my times the first six miles including a water break and potty stop (go Folklife Festival porta johns) clocked in at 75 minutes. Didn't restart the watch after mile six water stop.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Am I turning into a runner?

Let's see ... the warning signs of a new-found obsession are present: 1- I arranged my vacation around it last weekend, 2- I willingly get out of bed before 0700 on a Saturday and 3- just because it's the 4th of July, it's still a training day and thus I still willingly got out of bed before 0700.

Today's schedule called for a 3 mile run - tack on .2 for good measure and you have a 5K. I ran the 6th Annual Cure Autism Now 5k as my training run. I wasn't really interested in a PR (personal record) but I knew I could do it in 43 minutes or less, as my TNT pace run only took that long. I finished in 38.2 minutes, far exceeding my expectations and establishing a new benchmark for myself.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

What time is it?!?

We finally had to move our start time to 0700. About the time I wake up on weekdays I was in the car headed for 16th Street and my carpool buddies, thinking all the while "what am I doing?!?" Today's run was 6 miles for half-marathoners and 10 for full marathoners. 10 will come soon enough for moi, 6 was plenty. Today's venue was the Capital Crescent Trail which has pluses (lots of shade) and minuses (the normally fragant Potomac is even more so following our week of rain). From mile 8 marker we ran to Thompson's Boat House, grabbed some water and headed back. Back at mile 8 the marathoners kept going to mile 10 but I was done! 77 minutes -- which means at least temporarily I broke the 13 minute mile barrier (not by much!). And all before 0900 on a Saturday...

Thanks to all of my wonderful friends and family I am now $200 shy of my fundraising minimum. Yippee!