Saturday, March 26, 2011

Or, maybe not...

Last weekend, we enjoyed some glorious 60+ degree weather.

Now? Not so much. Insane hail on Wednesday, a dusting of snow when I woke up Thursday, THAT'S spring in Central Ohio for you. And here I was thinking I'd be able to retire the insulated tights soon. Notsomuch.

Said tights got busted out for a chilly 10 mile run with my training group this morning. After not being able to go for various reasons over the last few weeks, it was nice to run with people again. Even though we did some crazy hills. Stupid hills :D Thankfully, my shin/calf decided to behave itself, and other than the hills the run was actually fairly pleasant.

This week's training looked something like this...

Sunday-3 miles easy. I think. Last Sunday was a while ago...maybe I should start writing this all down?
Tuesday-3 miles easy. Supposed to be 5 miles but I added length to...
Wednesday-Speedwork. 1 mile warmup, 2 miles at goal pace (roughly 8:15/mile), 1 min rest, 2 miles at tempo (7:45-8:00/mile), 1 min rest, 1 mile at goal pace, 1 mile of strides (at the gym, this meant pick up the pace for half a lap on the track, slow down for half a lap. 8 reps+1 lap coolwdown=1 mile), .5 mile cooldown (I know I can't skimp on the cooldown but I was running the risk of being late for work). The original plan was for that last 2 mile block to both be at goal pace THEN 6-8 strides but I didn't have time so I had to adjust. Calf was twingy but otherwise okay.
Thursday-5 miles easy. Calf/shin felt the best it had in a while. Could I be on the mend?
Saturday-10 mile long run, at 9:30/mile pace. With some fun hills :$ Calf/shin=still pretty good. Hooray!

Other than that, not much is going on. Ohio State's men's basketball team lost last night, which meant one very cranky husband...thankfully, he seems to be over it now. We're now rooting for Kansas and Butler :) This spring/summer is shaping up to be pretty busy, so we're enjoying the down time while we have it.

6ish weeks 'til race day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy first day of spring!

...especially since the first day of spring=free regular ice day at Rita's! Needless to say, stopping by there on my way home from the store was a must. They didn't have my favorite (Sugar free cherry) but did have my second favorite (SF Tangerine, which tastes like an orange popsicle) so I'll take what I can get :)

We've been rocking some seriously nice weather in Columbus lately. A few rain sprinkles on Friday but other than that its been gorgeous since at least...Wednesday? Unfortunately, I spent a solid 8ish hours Thursday/Friday/Saturday at a speech/language conference here in town...but I still got in a couple of decent runs (Thursday and Saturday) and a fab spin class (Thurs AM) so I can't complain. Plus, the conference was located at a big shopping/dining complex here in town, and I got to have lunch/dinners with some good friends from work and a couple of old friends from grad school so between all that and the fact that I'm good to go on continuing ed hours for the year, it's all good.

I got the chance to try out a couple of awesome restaurants while I was at this conference. Thursday's lunch with my dad was at Bon Vie, which is a French-style restaurant. I'm a sucker for seared ahi tuna, so their appetizer containing such yumminess was right up my alley. On Friday, some coworkers and I ended up at Northstar Cafe, a local chain that emphasizes organic ingredients and serves sodas with pure cane sugar (as opposed to high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetners)-their tomato and cheese flatbread (aka cheese pizza) was fantastic, as was what my coworkers had. Aaaaaand dinner on Friday with two good friends from grad school was at Restaurant Hama, a Japanese restaurant I didn't even know existed until J & L pointed it out to me. Wine+edamame+four different types of sushi rolls (plus one that I took home to the hubs)+raspberry marscapone for dessert=perfect end to the evening.

I did miss another group run with my training group Saturday morning, making it three in a row I've missed...but thankfully this was a dropback week for me (meaning I only had to run 4 miles instead of 9 like last week/next week) so not a huge deal. My shin/calf are starting to feel better-still a little twingy for the first mile or so of a run but will usually stop after that. I hope this keeps up, I've got less than 2 months 'til go time!

Now, time to kick it with some beers and watch Ohio State continue to beat up on George Mason...Go Bucks!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Holy crap, is that...

SUNSHINE?! No, it can't be!

Oh but it is, my friends. The SUN has returrrrrrrrrrrrrrrned to Central Ohio! (Five packets of GU will be in the mail to you if you can tell me who I'm imitating with that last line-if no one guesses I'll tell you the next time I post. I got a free case of the stuff for signing up for a full year of my training group before a certain date and am looking to unload some of it-there's a variety of flavors too, I'll let you pick :D)

Now, back to matters at hand. The sun. You see, Central Ohio has seen pretty much nothing but rain rain rain for the last week. Oh, and some snow Thursday night/Friday morning that thankfully didn't stick to the roads and was totally melted by the time I left work last night. So you can imagine how happy I was when I got up this AM (later than planned, more on that in a sec) to sunshine and reasonable temps! And by reasonable, I mean "ran five miles comfortably in a short sleeved top and shorts" reasonable. Why only five, you ask? No, not a cutback week...I signed up for a 4 mile St. Patrick's Day race near my house that's going on this evening, so I did 5 miles this morning instead of my planned 9. This way I'll still have 9 for the day, just not at once...which thankfully will not mess with my training at this point.

So yeah, I overslept this morning. Meaning I missed Bart Yasso's talk (which I believe I posted about in my last post, if I didn't...he gave a talk at Ohio State today) and my group run. Again. And am missing my group run next week thanks to a conference I'm going to Thursday/Friday/Saturday. It's in Columbus which is good, but starts at like 8am. So no running group for me next weekend. If I had to oversleep any Saturday, though, this was a good one to do it since I was only planning on running 5 miles this morning. I do runs of that length from my house all the time, and have an out and back route that I know extremely well. If I'd had 9 miles planned...I would not be as "meh" about oversleeping. I guess my body was trying to tell me something.

Speaking of my's falling apart, I swear. First, shin splints/sore right calf. Neither of which have gotten worse, but aren't feeling great either. With ice, stretching/foam rolling, and ibuprofen, though, they're manageable. Now, my lower back is bugging me. Kind of like it does when I'm sitting in the car for more than 2 hours at a time, or sit in a movie theater seat for a really long movie. I kind of forget about the pain until I go to stand up from whatever chair I'm sitting in, and then it hits me. This came up suddenly last Saturday morning, so I figure I must have twisted something in my sleep. I'm trying to gently stretch it when I can because that actually makes things feel better, and crossing my fingers that it goes away. On the upside, it doesn't hurt when I run. Because there's gotta be an upside, right?

Let's see, what else is going on? Oooh I know....MARCH MADNESS! I get excited about this no matter if Ohio State's got a chance or not, and they might actually have a decent chance this year. Depending on who's in their bracket and how they play, that is. Either way, this is a fun time in our house...lots of obsessing over brackets, smacktalking, and beer drinking. Speaking of which-when J realized that I was going to be at my conference all day next Friday while he's off work to watch lots of basketball, the first words out of his mouth were "Oh boy, I'm gonna be so drunk when you get home." Nice. I may run home at lunch that day, pick him up, and drop him off at a sports bar near where my conference is (a huge shopping/dining area in Columbus, so there will be plenty of options) otherwise he could be in rough shape by the time I get home. Lord, give me strength...

So, that's what's going on in my world. Happy Springtime (and hooray for the impending return of Daylight Savings Time, and my ability to run after work!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Omgggggggg.... I on sugar overload. J and I inhaled three boxes of Girl Scout cookies (1 each of Samoas, Tagalongs, and Do-si-dos) in less than 48 hours, which is a new record for us. I also ate my weight in fancy chocolate last night and in chocolate Easter candy (Cadbury Creme Egg and a coconut cream egg) today in preparation for...Ash Wednesday. Aka the day I give up chocolate. 'Til Easter Sunday, approximately six weeks or so away. Eeep.

Back to the fancy chocolates, though. Two of the postrace goodies for the half I'm doing in May are apparently pink champagne and fancy chocolates. Like, pretty colored and shaped chocolates. Since my training group is in partnership with this race, we got to sample the pink champagne and fancy chocolates after our Mardi Gras fun run last night. Yes, you heard me. Mardi Gras. Think beads (which did not annoy me too badly), masks (which I refused to wear), and glow sticks (because it was dark out). You could go as long as you wanted (I went 4 miles) and as fast as you wanted (which ended up averaging 8:45/mile pace, not too shabby), and whenever you got back there would be bubbly and pretty yummies waiting for you. Why can't every run be like that?

Speaking of running, let me tell you what's not fun. Running 72 laps (aka 8 miles) around the track at the gym. "Why did you do this, silly girl?" you ask? Three words-torrential f'ing downpours. Which is what I woke up to Saturday morning. I could have sucked it up and gone to my group run. I SHOULD have sucked it up and gone to my group run. But I didn't. I went to the gym instead. And learned that it IS possible to survive 72 laps. And that those laps are much easier with quick water/calf stretching breaks every 2 miles (aka 18 laps).

Yeah, you heard that right. Calf stretching breaks. I think I may have a combo of a mild right calf strain+mild shin splints. So I'm stretching the hell out of both and icing whenever I can, and things seem to be feeling better. Lesson learned? Before you leave the house for a long run, make sure the shoes you're wearing are your most recent pair. And not the pair you replaced six months ago. Whoops :$

One more running geek moment, I promise. If you're not a running geek, stop reading now.

I get to go hear Bart Yasso (aka the Chief Running Officer at Runner's World) talk on Saturday! He's giving a talk at Ohio State that's organized by the running store that my training group is sponsored by so its all I've been hearing about for the last month. I figure it should be an interesting talk, since Bart's done all sorts of cool stuff. I'm going to try to squeeze in part of my long run beforehand-I'm planning on running a 4 mile race Saturday evening, so my morning run will probably only be 5 miles since I need to do 9 total this weekend. We'll see what happens.

On the food front, I am back to buckling down. Weight is starting to creep on again and I don't like it. Maybe its the extra rest I've been doing thanks to my shin/calf issues. Maybe its the rainy weather. More likely, it's probably due to the fact that Cadbury Creme Eggs are now everywhere I look (at the grocery, anyway). Either way, this shit has got to stop. Veggies, I'm coming for you...

Last week's training:

Monday: a miserable mile on the track at the gym. Was supposed to be three but got cut short due to shin pain. Went home and iced instead.

Tuesday: rest

Weds: Shin felt better so I attempted speedwork. 1 mile warm, 2 miles at tempo, 1 min rest, 2 miles at lactate threshold (aka approx 15 sec/mile faster than tempo), 1 min rest, 2 miles at tempo, 1 min rest, 1 mile cooldown. My shin/calf did not hate me. YAY!

Thurs: Spin class. Oh, how I missed spin class.

Fri: Rest

Saturday: 72 laps (aka 8 miles) of long run fun on the track at the gym, thanks to Mother Nature.

Sunday: Rest. And by rest, I mean sheer laziness.

2 months 'til the race...yeeha!