Thursday, March 29, 2012

I didn't run today!

Usually that statement should not be said so enthusiastically. (Exclamation point is written enthusiasm.)

Backing up a bit, I went for a run yesterday. . . sort of. I had planned on getting in four easy miles to shake out my legs from my long run on Monday.

I ran a mile, feeling terrible the entire way despite the numbers on my Garmin climbing higher. After a mile of uncomfortable 11:00/mile ish paced running, I stopped to walk. I figured I'd just walk a mile then ran the last mile back home.

I thought about just going home, but the weather and the scenery was gorgeous. Besides, I thought it might be good to walk a bit and stretch.
Look how pretty! I actually did not bring picture taking devices to the run, thinking I was going to run the whole way. I was very wrong. 
And I did stretch. . . a lot. After the mile of walking/stretching, I felt better enough to try running for another 0.6 miles very slowly. Then, I walked the rest of the way home. 

Good news: I got all the soreness out of my legs from the long run. 

Bad news: I developed a killer hip pain. Every time I put pressure on it, it would hurt . . . a lot. 

Good news: I foam rolled and stretched the heck out of my legs. I even iced. 
Side note - my body thought that laying down mermaid style to ice my legs was nap time. I took an unplanned nap with the ice on my hip. I think the problem was that I wrapped the ice pack too well. It was nice and cool, not cold and recovery inducing. 
True Story
Bad news: All of yesterday, it hurt to walk, enough though the rest of my legs felt awesome. 

Today, the pain was gone. I'd like to thank my awesome foam roller for its performance yesterday. I was very tempted to go running, but I didn't. 

That's the long story of why I'm enthused about the fact that I didn't run today. I spent all of yesterday night and today being jealous of Twitter friends' running adventures. 

TGIF! The question of the day is, how do you ice? Do you put the super cold ice pack on your skin? Or do you wrap it up in thin paper towel? Because clearly, I am doing it wrong. 
I've got my runner problems, but they seem so insignificant compared to T-Rex problems. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Running Long

I finally got back on track and started off this week (yesterday) with a long run. I also have a new distance PR by 0.5 miles. I know that I have the half marathon this weekend, and I actually should be taking it easy, but I had good reasons to go running for 14.5 miles.
"We thought you'd be over the rookie mistakes and not go for a distance PR so close to the half and after the long break."
1. I needed to get back into the distance running mode and on with my marathon training
2. The race this Saturday is purely for fun. I'm not looking to PR and have no time goals for it at all
3. I ran over the half marathon course, so it's relevant to race preparation

For the first time ever, I ran a course pre-race and ran a long run without my Garmin. The course was very boring, and I fear that running the course beforehand made me dread running it again.

As for the Garmin, it refused to catch signal and I didn't feel like waiting for it. Also, the bf had his own garmin that I thought I could hijack. And because I am such a nice girlfriend, I ended up leaving him around mile 5 to keep my pace. We stopped briefly then so that I can figured out what time we started running so that I can keep a rough track of the time it took me to run the course.

Since, I didn't want to be completely stupid and get injured, I even took walk breaks when I wanted to. I never do that during a long run! Surprisingly, including the walk break, I ended up with a 10:38/mile ish pace.

It was a nice surprise, since I thought I had been running 11:00/mile or slower. In addition, other than being sore with tight muscles, I am pretty certain that I didn't cause any lasting damage. I'm ready to get out for some easy miles tomorrow.
If I can only be graceful like that elephant, and be able to run more than 14.5 miles consecutively, I'd be a happy girl.
Now, I have a great internal debate. For the first time ever, I am considering racing without a Garmin. I know that if I have a watch on my wrist, it'll stress me out even though I'm treating it as a training run. However, without the watch, I'm afraid that I'll go out too fast or get discouraged from thinking that the finish line is farther away than it really is.

What are your thoughts on "naked" racing? Btw, thanks for all your comments about the great hair debate. It made me feel better about trying to shampoo every other day. And sorry about the disconnectedness of the post. I wanted to write something about the run, but it's getting to be past 1AM still with plenty to get done before sleeping. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Back to the grind

One thing that's making the transition from LA to New York easier is that the weather's actually nice here. And if I was running (I am totally hanging my head from guilt), I would totally be able to run in shorts. The thing about it is that now I know that I'll be running slower and it'll hurt more. So I keep on putting it off. I know, I know. This is not the kind of things you want to read about in a healthy living/running blog.

I'm hoping that being back in Ithaca and in working mode will bring the running routine back in my life. Seeing as how my next half marathon is next weekend, the little break from running will end, forcibly. On the other hand, I've been stretching out my legs as much as possible and they've been feeling less tight.
If I stretch a lot more, maybe I'll finally be able to do the splits. 
With less sore legs and the fact that I've just been reminded that I'm the new size 14 by the ever so helpful Nigel from The Devil Wears Prada, I should have no excuses to not run tomorrow.
I know, Nigel. I'm working on it. 
Now, I have a sort of a weird thing to share with you guys. I feel that part of having a healthy body/lifestyle also pertains to having healthy hair. Right? So this tangent that I'm about to go on is totally relevant to the blog.

I've always heard that shampooing everyday is bad, it strips hair of natural oil, blah blah. That's actually all I'd hear of the no shampoo everyday argument. I'd always just sort of tune it out. It just seemed weird to take a shower without shampooing my hair. It would feel like running without running shoes (bad analogy since it's totally acceptable, maybe even encouraged, to run barefoot nowadays).

Recently, I've been noticing more split ends and unhealthy hair things going on.
Look at that bushiness. I bet he might have some split ends. . . if lions get split ends. 
I began to wonder about the whole no shampooing thing. I could be more diligent about trimming my hair every two months or whatever the required time, but that's just craziness. The salon money is way better spent on races and cute running clothes, clearly.

So for now (please don't judge), I've decided to try shampooing and conditioning every other day. I should start slowly, right? Last night, I just rinsed my hair while showering. It felt weird, but the hair does not seem too bad today. At least not that I can tell.

Now please be honest. Do you shampoo and condition everyday? Were the beauty blogs on the internet lying to me about the acceptableness of not shampooing everyday? How do you keep your hair healthy along with your body? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Things I would like to accomplish

Writing yesterday's post made me realize how close graduation and my marathon are approaching. Before they get here in two months ish, I'd like to get a few things accomplished.

  • Leave the freshman 15 in college -  I have definitely gained the freshman 15 and have held on to it for dear life. Yeah, it definitely has to go. Not to mention, getting leaner will help me with my running. 
  • Start dressing for success - I'm usually a throw on any clean shirt and some jeans kind of a girl despite the fact that I like fashion (my google reader has at least 10 fashion blogs). I just can never be bold enough to wear daring things. Umm, daring for me is anything other than jeans and a shirt. I actually started on that today by purchasing a sailor inspired dress. Horizontal stripes may not be the most flattering thing on me, but I liked the bright orange color. 
  • Run more - I like to run, but it doesn't always make my priority list. However, with the first bullet and the whole marathon in two months thing, I kind of need to get on this. Unfortunately, my butt muscle (I'm sure there's a better word for it) has been super tight. I first thought it was my IT band, but now I'm starting to think that it's just the butt muscle. When I bend down to touch my toes, my butt area feels very tight. 
That's what I want to do in the next two months in a nutshell. 

On a non goal making front, today was a perfect day to relax at the beach. 
I could have tried to be sexy like the girls sunbathing just outside of the frame of the picture, but running clothes were way more comfortable. 
My plans of lounging at the beach was ruined when the bf found a way to take perfect jump shots with the ipod touch. We then spent an hour jumping and taking photos of ourselves. I seriously have about 50 jumping shots. 

Oh, and I have finally crossed over to the dark side of running with music. I bought myself an arm band, tuned into my "booty" playlist (exactly what it sounds like, a playlist full of booty songs), and ran slow 4 miles by the ocean.
It was easy to speed ahead listening to songs like "Salt Shaker" AKA one of the best songs ever!  
The original plan was to go for 8, but my butt muscle was so sore that going faster or for more miles wasn't a good idea for me. I kept the pace just under 10:00/mile and that was uncomfortable in the booty area. I don't think it's anything serious. I just need to be vigilant about stretching and listen to more "Breath, Stretch, and Shake"from the playlist. 

Sadly, I'll be spending the whole day at the airport tomorrow on my way back to upstate New York. My plan is to try to stretch as much as possible to get this tightness out. And make more playlists for running. Of course with "Saltshaker." 

Good night! I'm off to stretch some more. And here's a fun pic with odd quotation marks. 

I'm not sure what they mean by "lessons." They also have a sign on the other side of the store that says surfboard skate board "rentals." Is this a secrete code for crack? Anyways, this store always makes me laugh. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hello from California

I haven't blogged in a long time, but I had a perfectly reasonable excuse. I just haven't ran in a long time. After my last post, (by the way thanks for all the motivation and reassurance that a little break is fine), I tried to run more, but I just didn't have/make the time. However, while running didn't happen, lots of other things happened.

1. I didn't get that job. Oh well, graduation is still two months away and there are tons of other opportunities to pursue! (Trying to stay positive)

2. I got to see the corpse flower.
Ever since I was little, I wanted to see the corpse flower because it was on the cover of this one book that I used to read as a child. Luckily for me, my college has an awesome agricultural/plant program, and this rare plant is currently blooming. Unfortunately, I missed the actual blooming as it bloomed during spring break and I'm currently in California, but I did see the bud.
It blooms once every ten years and the flowers open for pollination for only 24 hours. Maybe that's why they have become so rare? 
3. I came to California for spring break and ran a grand total of two times. 
But on those times that I ran, there was a total party in my pants. And by that I mean my legs were loving the flat terrain. It was also nice to run at sea level. Despite the long hiatus from running, my easy 6 miler clocked at 9:01/mile, which is way faster than my normal easy pace. 
What can I say, I'm a little awkward. I think this photo caught me as I was gearing up to jump. Before I left my jacket to do a five miler at the beach. 
4. I went to the San Diego zoo. 
My bf is also staying with my family in California. Previous times, we'd do a lot of touristy stuff, but this time, we just stuck to going to San Diego zoo. (cross training?) There were lots of low impact walking. In fact, I ended up taking an Advil before bed, because my legs were so sore from all that walking.There will be random photos of animals later, but for now let me tell you about wild asses. 

I only took a picture of this, because of the true wild asses. Immature? Totally.  
5. I've been stressing about all the missed running. 
This unplanned break has gone on a little too long. Now, it's time to get back on schedule and on to marathon training for May. I don't know what's scarier, graduation or my first marathon. Both scare and excite me. 
I'd rather not think about the marathon or graduation and fool around in Cali  forever. 

I think I've finally caught up on blog reading. But anything interesting happen in the week that I was gone? What's a good stretch for IT Bands? They've been feeling a bit tight lately. I hope everyone has been having a wonderful week! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

When not running becomes easier

So before I left, I was very "I love running blah blah. I'm going to go on double runs, etc etc."

Then, I came back from my trip, and I was very much stress out over everything busy thinking about how there's no time to run. Which is as all of you know, not true at all. There's always time to run.

Backing up to before I left, I did not mean to take such a long hiatus from running. I even borrowed a bigger carry on from a friend so that i can pack my running clothes and shoes in addition to classy clothes and shoes.

However, due to delays and such, I spent nine hours in transit/airport for about a 2 hour flight. Thankfully, I had a good amount of money to spend on food from the company, and I was also traveling with two guys from my school who were also interviewing for the same position. Nothing like spending long amounts of time in the airport for a bonding experience.

Thanks to the plane delays, I arrived at the hotel at 10:30PM, about 5 hours later than planned.
I don't know how I was smiling. I was definitely not in the mood to smile. 
It was an exhausting day and the only cool thing was that my friend and I got room service and watched Family Guy while gulping down our food. 

The next day, I had a 5:50AM wake up call, which did not agree with my 1:30AM bed time. 

After the interviews, (which could have gone so so  much better) I was deposited right back at the airport. 

Then despite a raging party in the apt, I "studied"(glanced over) material for Saturday's makeup test. Now, I'm still making up for the work that I've missed and not running. 

And paying for stale airport food.
Chocolate covered almonds and creme brulee muffin for dinner! 
The creme brulee muffin, not as good as it sounds. Disappointing. Good idea executed poorly.

One awesome running related part of the weekend was that my friend (the super fast Bostoner) answered my e-mail and signed off as Coach B! How awesome is that? He's now shooting for a 2:37 marathon. Crazy. He can pace me to my fastest mile while running the marathon.

I am currently very behind in blog reading, but I will get on top of that. Meanwhile, please share some of your running passion with me so that I can get motivated and my running shoes can get some action! 

P.S. - Thanks for all your helpful comments about injury prevention and treatment! They are very helpful, and I promise I'll try to cross train more! And now I'm just writing everything in a very excited voice! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Being Injury Prone

I am a very injury prone runner. Whenever I start kicking ass at running, I come down with an injury. 
An ass kicking cat for your pleasure. 
I know, I know. I do a lot of things wrong. 
  • I don't follow the 10% rule in mileage increase
  • I don't stretch after a run
  • I don't cross train. 
Basically, the only reason that I'm not sidelined with a super serious injury is that I'm still somewhat young and able to bounce back fairly well. 
This bunny is very disappointed in my less than stellar training style. 

Before, I used to always get shin splints whenever I get started on running for realsies. That finally stopped when I started to foam roll for at least five minutes after every run. 

But now, I'm beginning to feel plantar fasciitis coming on. I should have seen this coming. I have textbook super high arch, and my dad and my mom gets it. So you'd think I would have taken preventative measures. 

But I didn't. . . 

Good thing that I'd already planned on this week to be a cut back week. It also so happens that I'm having a super stressed and busy week. 

I'll be leaving my college bubble to do an interview in Richmond for a company-that-will-not-be-named. Wish me luck! And if you are a recruiter in Richmond who might be working for the company-that-will-not-be-named, please, feel free to offer me the job! And I also have a lab practical right afterwards. So basically, I couldn't have run more even if I wanted to. 

Okay, I lied. I'm sure I can squeeze in running if I really tried, but I don't want to make the plantar fasciiitis worse. And I'm ready to take a small break from all this ass kicking. 
Thanks nike for telling me why I have plantar fasciitis. I totally agree. 

What can I do to ward off this impending doom? How do you guys prevent injuries in general? Please feel free to share! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Accidental Tempo

Normally, I'm the girl who uses every excuse in the book to avoid speed work. While, I know that workouts are necessary to improve running prowess, it's hard to motivate myself to get out the door and hit those paces.

Whenever I see a number lower than 9 for the pace, I start panicking. Hold a 8:30/mile pace for tempo? Ahhh panic time!

Today, I just set out with the bf, Stef, to get in some nice five miles. Since we were both rushed for time, we planned to pick it up a bit more than our usual together runs and shoot for 10:00/mile pace.
I'm literally shooting, sort of like how we were shooting for 10:00/mile pace. And literally shooting as in with my hands. 

However, once I got going, it felt so nice to pick up the pace a bit. After last night's 12:something /mile pace, this run was exactly what I needed mentally.

In fact, I felt so great that I kept on picking up the pace and eventually left Stef behind. (Oops?) By the end third mile, I realized that I was close to hitting my tempo pace, 8:30/mile. I made an executive decision to turn the run into a tempo workout and picked it up to hit my actual tempo pace.
Non-icy, flat side walk is the best. 
I then steadily negative split (What? Who killed and replaced me?) the whole run. It would be dishonest of me to not tell you about the easiness of the course. Since the way to my half way point was on a slight incline or a flat, the way back was on a slight decline or a flat, so it wasn't too hard to be faster than my tempo pace.
Ignore the last interval. I walked to cool down. But negative splitted every  mile! 
My overall pace for the run was 8:52/mile. This was the exact run that I needed to show me that I can run faster during the weekdays and slow down my long run.

Don't you love it when a run exceeds expectations? How do you motivate yourself to do workout runs? 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Virtual Race

For the first time in my life, I participated in a virtual race.

I ran 3.4 miles for Jamie for her birthday!
This is Jamie. It's her birthday. 
Today was a whirlwind of projects and meetings, pushing the run to near midnight. It totally counts if I started out the door before midnight, 11:35PM to be exact.

It was cold, and the last thing I wanted to do in this awful snowy cold weather was to run. Did I mention it was cold? To top it off, all of the sidewalks were icy. But I went out and got it done. You're welcome, Jamie. :)
All bundled up and ready to go. Why, yes we are wearing hats with horns. 
It was the slowest 3.4 miles I've ever run since I started running with a pace of 12:05/mile, but I consider the run a success.
1. Neither of us slipped on the snow and injured ourselves (reason why the run was so slow)
2. We made it out the door in the nick of time to get our virtual racing in.

Good thing there was this virtual race, because after my successful long run on Friday, no running happened during the rest of the weekend. But I did think about running and talked about running a lot.

Saturday, Jamie and Mike visited me to drive over the Skunk Cabbage Half marathon course.
From left: Jamie,Stef, me, Mike
This was our self portrait with my ipod, myspace style, because that's always cool.

It was a lot of fun. It was nice to be able to talk for hours about fueling, marathon peeing, shoes, etc without scaring the other people away.

I normally get sketched out by random people adding me on facebook, but I love meeting running bloggers (strangers?) in person. It's hard to think about a blogger as a stranger. But my friend made a hilarious comment about how it's probably the worst idea ever to meet running bloggers, because if they turned out to be axe murderers, I wouldn't even be able to outrun them. Good point, good sir.

The faces of not axe murderers. 
So this was my weekend. Thanks for all your recommendations on fueling. I have about two months to try them all out and find out what works. Also, we should all meet up sometime! Have you guys ever run a virtual race? Or better yet ever hosted one? 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Long Runs

Thank you so much for all your advice. It was very helpful.

Some things I took away:
1. Run my long runs and my easy runs slower
2. I don't have to run the whole run with the bf
3. For the first marathon, enjoy the race and the training.

There were other helpful insights in the comments, but these three were the ones that I focused on for this long run.

I ran this week's long run slower and ran the first half of it with the bf. It was a hard run to get started on mentally, because I knew that it would be the farthest that I've ever run before. This was the first long run that made me feel like I was actually training for a marathon, and for the first time ever, I went over the half marathon distance.
The last two miles were hard. I averaged 10:47/mile. 
Thankfully, next week will be a cutback week. I don't have to think about going over 14 miles yet. 

Usually I don't use any gels for half marathons, but I know that I would need something for the marathon. So the bf and I bought a gel each to try out. Those are expensive when you buy the, in singles! 
Of course mine is the chocolate. I am of the opinion that chocolate can cover up any unpleasant taste.
I actually loved the gel. I think it was because this run happened on Friday night right during dinner time, (5PM - 7:30PM). We were both starving and wished that we had more.

All in all, it was a successful run. I probably will try other methods of fueling. Any recommendations? And how often should I take the gels? Have a great weekend!