Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Run 2 of 48

I did it again.  Got up at 5:45 AM and drug my ass out the door - into a freaking sauna of a morning.  I decided the same route would be too boring so I went the other direction.  I jogged along even though everything felt tight.  My pace was about 40 seconds/mile slower than yesterday though it was 10 degrees warmer with like 100% humidity so I'm trying not to beat myself up about it.  I walked some of the uphill (and yes, some of the flat) sections.  But I knocked out run #2 of the Hal Higdon novice training plan.  It called for 3 miles.  I turned around at Stacy's house which is 1.61 miles away for 3.22 mi total at 13:20 min/mi pace.  Feel good for getting it done. 

Posted a selfie across from Stacy's house with a bit of a quiz to my Facebook friends:

"Quick quiz: This is the spot on my run this morning where I:
A. Figured out what I forgot last night.
B. Thought "running is stupid"
C. Turned around
D. Almost called Bill to come get me
E. Missed the old days of running with Stacy
F. All of the above"

For those who couldn't guess:  the answer is "F".  I was supposed to drop off some reports I wrote for the County (her husband is the County Engineer) last night which I remembered this morning as I approached her house.  I really should have said "running in very humid weather is stupid".  I did turn around.  I did consider not running back.  I really do miss running late at night with Stacy though she start a new job last spring that has her running around all day long - without me.

The training plan (if I choose to stick with it - still debating the "craziness") - calls for running 4x/week and one cross-training workout a week.  I might also do some strength and/or stretching stuff on the rest days.  So in 12 weeks, that is 48 runs plus probably 12 bike rides.  This was run #2.  We'll see if I can keep this up.  Tomorrow is my usual day to run longer with Susan.  Maybe we can tick off the 4 miles I'm supposed to do Saturday and then I can do another 3 miler then.  We'll see!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Am I Half Crazy?

I may be considering signing up for my first half marathon.  I may be a little jealous that my friend Susan already has 2 medals for finishing two of them (Roots and Blues last fall and Rock the Parkway this past spring).  She may have been urging me to sign up for the St. Louis Rock and Roll Half in October to me for a month or two.  It is just 12 weeks away so I will soon need to "shit or get off the pot" as they say.  Decisions!  Decisions! 
I read in Runner's World the other day that one way to get more motivated is to sign up for a new race distance therefore giving you an automatic PR.  I like the way whoever wrote that thinks!  And I'm not above being a bit of a bling whore.  I did really like my medal from the Show Me State Games last weekend, even if I basically had to show up and finish to get it.

So on a bit of a lark last night, I looked up a novice half marathon training plan from Hal Higdon online.  It looked relatively doable.  The biggest issue will be running more consistently.  That once or twice a week just won't cut it.  I need to focus on the fact that not all runs need to be fast (which is good since nothing I ever run could be considered "fast") and that not all runs need to be long (which lately I seem to do ok in getting in one long run, but very few shorter ones - sometimes it is easier to set aside one long chunk of time).

Since the forecast was for "just a hair off the surface of the sun" hot today, I woke up early and did a sunrise run of 3.1 miles at a ridiculously slow 39 minutes (though in my defense, I did the big Wavco hill in the 2nd mile).  Getting out of bed before 6 AM is not my idea of a good time, but it fit in my day better and avoided the worst of the heat (though the humidity was already out in full force).  Now let's see if I can do it again tomorrow and Thursday and maybe run 4 miles on Saturday before I pull the trigger on paying the big bucks to run a race with 2999 other half crazy folks.
About one mile in standing on Moreau River bridge - the oranges and pinks that were so
pretty were not sufficiently captured by the cell phone selfie camera

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Show Me State Games 2014

Seriously, I wasn't all that excited for this race.  I knew I could probably finish.  I knew that the swim would suck.  I hoped I wouldn't be dead last, but was about half expecting to be.  The only saving grace was that the weather forecast was probably 10-20 degrees cooler than in past years.  And my husband was standing there telling me I just "couldn't skip this one" and ruin my streak (this being my 4th time at this race in 4 years).

I didn't even bother to sign up ahead of time still half hoping I could beg off.  But with some more than gentle nudging from husband, I threw my stuff together last night and got to bed at a reasonable hour.  Slept in until 6, rolled out of bed and dressed, grabbed my gear and a peanut butter sandwich (plus a banana that never did get eaten) and loaded the family in the truck for the easy 30 min ride to Columbia.  God bless local races! 

Registration went pretty smooth.  I lucked out and the lady didn't even charge me the extra $5 late fee so I did the race for a mere $30 (which helped offset the fact that they raised the entry fee $5 this year - whoopee).  The line was pretty short and I still had plenty of time to set up transition, take a few pictures, visit with Tara (gal I met wearing an awesome SUAR tee), and hang out before strolling over to the water.

Setting up my transition area

My tallest fan - and the reason I got moving today!  Bless him!

All ready to go on the boat ramp carpet
Thanks to my daughter for this picture of the first buoy
(tiny orange dot in the distance that men are heading towards - never mind the big butt in the foreground!)
This year they let all the men go first and then 5 min later sent out the women and teams.  There was this guy with a teeny, very colorful speedo that cracked me up and went out with us gals as he was on a team.  For a bit I stood next to a lady that was in my age group and she said she would fight me for a medal, but laughed because she said she hadn't seen anyone else in our age group (40-44).  Hey, gotta love small races!  I had another person tell me thank you for my blog at the race which was funny (though apparently I have one of the easier to find race reports out there). 

It was kind of hard to hear the dude say "Go!" so we were all just standing around kind of wondering when we'd start, but finally we all started listening for it.  I suggest they use an airhorn next year.  I was in the middle as we headed out which was dumb, but I didn't want to be up on the ramp knowing I'd have to tiptoe through the rocks at the end of the ramp (plus the lake weeds).  After a few bumps and one good knock to the side of my face, I was solidly at the back and only about 1/2 way to the first buoy (which was more to the left this year).  I made the turn to Buoy #2 and was going into the sun.  Most of the swim I felt like I just couldn't catch my breath.  I would flip to backstroke every so often to breathe it out, but then more than once I would splash water up my nose or in my mouth and cough/choke while the poor folks in canoes would wonder if they should jump in and save me (I told them I was OK - how embarrassing).

My husband said he saw a couple of guys in the first group swim to shore before the first buoy and quit.  and I saw another guy that got way off course and actually came out of the water after me even though he looked strong and fit.  But overall, I was towards the back of the swimmers - not the last out of the water, but damn close.  I finally made it to the 2nd buoy and turned towards the boat ramp.  That damn boat ramp never seemed to get closer.  I would try to swim a strong front crawl for a bit and then side or back stroke a bit to catch my breath and re-sight only to look and think that ramp was just as far away.  I was pretty much hating the swim.  But I looked at my watch as I got out and was pleasantly surprised to see that I hadn't done that bad.  Garmin says I swam 0.55 mi in 28:07.  Map showed I didn't swim very straight on the last leg of the triangle.
Coming out of the water - not many behind me
Didn't feel quite as bad as last year when I got out of the water though I was breathing hard and choked on some water I took from the station at the top of the ramp.  I took my time this year to dry my feet and put on socks.  Lesson learned!  After 2:22 min in T1, I headed out on the bike.  I felt relatively good compared to the same point last year, but was having a hard time pushing any speed.  I tried to catch a couple ladies ahead of me, but without much luck (until one of them dropped her chain on a hill).  I did catch a dude at the turn around - though he was like 64!  We leapfrogged each other on some hills (him ahead on the downhill and me ahead on the uphill).  We chatted a couple times (great job Mark!). 
Leaving transition
I finally dropped him and tried to chase down a young'un ahead of me (17!).  I finally caught her when she had to brake for a car that was about to block her left turn onto the outer road (I yelled for her to watch out as I thought it was going to hit her).  But she caught back up to me shortly thereafter and we chatted until we were nearly back at the bike.  She was trying to catch her mom (45 - thankfully not in my age group) which she did I saw later.  She had run a half marathon on Thursday at cross country camp (what's a taper?) and blew past me on the run - dropping me like a bad habit.

I forgot to hit the button as I came into transition so my bike time includes T2 and my watch screwed up somehow and didn't record my distance though it was the same as last year so about 15 or so miles for about 14.6 mph for 1:01:44.  As I headed out on the run, I took my powerade with me from the bike.  I had been burned by too little fluids in the past.  It was kinda lukewarm, but still tasted ok.  The cold water at the aid station was a lot better.  I tried to run, but my legs were having none of that.  I did way more walking that I should have and not even the fast walking I normally do with my husband.  It was a trudge.  I tried to run for little bits, but my legs were cramping up (mostly my calves).  My knees hurt and it was starting to warm up.  I realized about here that I didn't put on sunscreen this morning. Ooops!  Such is life.  At least I would be done soon.

After the turn around (this year first run lap of lake was done counter clockwise and the 2nd lap was clockwise), I met Mark as I came back and he said he was going to try to pick up his pace and catch me.  He looked hot and out of breath so I wasn't sure he could do it, but then again - I was walking an awful lot.  He caught me just before mile 2 and we pushed each other to run a little more, but walked and talked some making me think about how much my legs hurt a little less.  We got chicked by an older lady (59) and then passed a dude (60) that was walking.  I think there might have been one or two others behind us, but it was hard to tell as some folks went out for extra laps after they finished so that they could get in more training. 

It was an ugly run, but once again - I finished.  Run pace is a bit of a guess because the watch must have lost satellites and never got them back (shows no distance) and I forgot to hit the damn button again.  Best I can tell, 13:33 min/mi for about 42 min.  When I glanced at the official result sheet, they had 2:14 and some change for the whole event.  This adds up about the same as my Garmin data.  So looks like I finished about 4 min slower than last year and about 2 min slower than the year before. 

My daughter totally captured how I felt through most of this run - LOL!
The good news?  The lady that was in my age group came up to me as I finished (she wasn't all that far ahead of me) and told me she had come in 2nd in our group and that there hadn't been a 3rd so that I probably medaled!  LMAO!!  Sure enough - I checked with the race folks and they handed me a 30th anniversary Show Me State Games bronze medal!  God bless small races with tiny age groups.  My very first race medal!  (I actually should have gotten one last year by the same default method, but had left thinking as far back as I was there wasn't any point to checking). 
Bronze Medalist - Even if close to last!
So another triathlon in the books.  I guess it is an accomplishment no matter what, but I feel like I let myself down by not specifically training for it.  I'll definitely be feeling this one for a few days.  Tentatively planning on another birthday weekend of trail running fun at Kicks in the Sticks (Susan and I looking to dominate another small age group though we are torn between the shorter and the longer routes). 

Also need to get the Luebbert Lunatics signed up for another year at the Epic Mud Run (though I think this year my son is going to bow out and man the cooler and lawn chair at the finish).  That is Labor Day weekend.  Hard to believe school starts in just another few weeks.  Still a little vacation time to be had though.  Next weekend we are heading to Bennett Springs State Park to do some fishing, hiking, floating, etc.  Should be fun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tri-ing to Train

In hopes of not suffering too much during the Show Me State Games triathlon this coming weekend, I've been trying to get in a few key workouts.  A few weekends ago, I did my first brick workout in probably close to a year.  I rode my bike out to the interchange and back for a little over 11 miles and then just ran about 2 miles in my neighborhood.  Slow, but sure.  Better than nothing.  Then I went over to Stephen's Lake after work in the week following and got my swim on.  I forgot my watch so I just swam until I was totally sick of it - probably about 45 min and likely just under a mile.
Stephens Lake swim area
The weekend after the 4th of July holiday, we met friends down at the Osage River for an afternoon of fun.  I decided to leave early and go by bike (almost 13 miles) and had thought about doing a short run, but really only did about 0.25 mile.  Ugh.  Not much of a brick.

View of the Osage River from the end of my bike ride
I've also been getting in some long, slow runs with Susan on her days off - one shorter one (on a day she wanted to bail, we went around her neighborhood for 3.75 miles) and a couple longer ones (Katy Trail 8.4 miles and MKT in Columbia for 6.4 miles).  But I definitely haven't done enough of the shorter runs (and in the hot weather) that would be good for training for a sprint. 
Katy Trail bridge

MKT Trail Run Smiles

After run drinks at Flat Branch
This last Sunday morning, I was up at 1 AM to head out to try the Tour de Jeff City moonlight bike ride.  I did it in 2011, but the following couple of years the date didn't fit with my schedule.  I rode last time with my friend (surveyor) Ron, but I was pretty much on my own this time.  I did it in a leisurely 2 hours (ish) last time including a pit stop.  This year I rolled out with the first group of 50, was quickly toward the front of the group (WTF is up with that?), skipped the stop and finished in just over an hour (for 15 miles around town).  Even rode up the big JCMG hill that I walked the last time.  Not a bad workout!
Big smile before the moonlight ride

Just before 2 A.M. roll out
 Last night, the weather was insanely nice (low 70's) so Walter, Pranavi and I rolled out for about 21 miles.  A few big hills, but mostly flat or rollers - but glad to be done as none of us were really feeling it.  So the big grin below is because we got it done (and because Walter just didn't see what was such a big deal about getting a post ride selfie).
Does the ride count without at least one pic like this?
I'm not looking forward to the long swim this weekend (half-ish mile in Philips Lake), but the bike shouldn't be too bad and I figure I can always trudge my way through the two laps of the lake for the 3.1 mi run.  Makes me wish I'd swam more.  Story of my last couple of years!  Guess I'll just try to gut it out and finish.  Maybe it won't be so bad.  Of course, we won't even talk about the 15 extra pounds I have to take with me this year.  Ugh!