Mileage Recap ~ 20 – 27 August…Goodbye Sweet Water Belt, Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I have finally said goodbye to a trusty old friend, my old water belt.  I lost one of the pods (for good) and the other one has a tendency of falling out from time to time.  Plus, it’s a small one and it’s just not enough water to get me through until my next water stop on the long runs.  No more freaking out at mile 8 and reaching at the small of my back to see if the pods are still in tact.  No more scrounging around in that sliver of a pouch for a gel or whatever else I stuck in there…

It’s so sad…immediately I thought of this…She’s gone…what went wrong.

…I better learn how to face it…ummm She’s Goooooo ooooo ooonnnnnn nnneee.

Ok, I’m back.  Yes, she’s gone.  Only to replaced by the newer model:

I went to the local Big 5 Sports looking for a newer belt and came out with this.  I DIDN’T want to pay a lot for the belt and there really wasn’t a lot of choice.  It was this, the Camel Back™, or a Nike™ belt that was way too complicated and expensive.  This one cost me about 12 bucks and it did the trick.  It’s a little big, but it actually wasn’t that bad to run with as hydration belts go.  The pouch was nice and large enough to carry gels and some other things without being burdensome.  So, I feel like I did well here.  I tested it out for this weeks long run and it worked out great.  I could have tightened it a bit more, but for the most part it was good.

This weeks running schedule was 4/6/4/12.  I feel like I’m getting stronger and the runs are a little easier.  My biggest hurdle is the heat and dryness.  Although the temps are lowering it’s still dry and stagnant at times.  I blow through my water.  I prepositioned water and snacks and made my loops.  I reported last week that the loop I follow was about 5.5 miles but it really is at the 6 mile mark – or so the Garmin says.  Which is good for me.

This week’s long run was 12 miles.  I was out the door at 5:30.  I was good until mile 6, then I started to get a little winded.  Made my first stop and drank some of the freezing water I had, filled the water pod, made a mistake and the cat ran out the front door, chased the cat and nearly had my face clawed off, and then was back on the road for the remaining 6 miles.  I consumed 4 gels and half of a power bar during the run.  Gels….  I had minimal pain this run.  The feet started hurting around mile 11, but for the most part I felt pretty good.

My pace for the long run came out to 12:20…about what I expected and I’m pleased.  I did my cool down stretches and then I did something new…I took an ice bath.  I didn’t like it at all, but my muscles loved it and I had minimal pain recovering.  Nothing like last week.  This might be a good thing!  Week seven training complete for a weekly total of 28.14 miles (cool downs included).  Ready for week 8!  I have 6592.67 miles remaining on my journey!  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 19 August Week Six Dublin Marathon Training

I haven’t really been counting the training weeks for this marathon but I thought that I would start to quantify a bit.  I started my training early, sort of doing my own thing.  Running three times a week with a little bit of speed work added to the mix.  I am now on a more “solid plan” if you will.  I will be running 4 times a week following a defined plan.  I used this same plan for my first marathon and it worked for me.

This weeks mileage plan called for 4/5/4/11 with rest days in between.  I ran one of the 4 mile days on the dreadmill to give my legs a bit of a break.  My 5 mile run was a great run.  The weather has started to break a bit and it was 79!  I could really tell the difference and I didn’t have to stop and walk once.  My pace for that day was sub 11 and that felt good.

This weeks long run was pretty good.  It’s so funny how just last month I could get out the door at 5 am because it was light.  It’s now dark until 5:30 – 5:45.  I was able to eat two waffles (yes…Eggos™ I’m addicted), coffee (always) and a sports gel (ugh).  I was out the door at a respectable 5:45.  I’m doing a loop that is about 5.5 miles.  It takes me by my house so I can fill up on water and preposition snacks.  I don’t need too much water for the first 5 miles but after that I’m drinking it fast, so running by the house helps a great deal.  Today’s long run came to 11 miles.  I was good until mile 4 then my legs started feeling a little heavy.  I was wondering when my gel was going to kick in… I must have a high tolerance for things that are supposed to make you have energy.  I can drink three cups of coffee in a span of 30 minutes and nothing.  The same seems to be for the “sports” gel.  I didn’t really feel that umph until mile 8.  I took a gel before I started running, one at mile 5 and another at mile 10.

These last few weeks my piriformis muscle has been screaming.  Most likely because my pelvis is supposedly getting corrected and by hips are in full revolt.  We’ve been doing it wrong for so long why change now!  That started to hurt a bit at mile 8, but if I paid attention to my foot strike I could keep that pain at bay.  The last two miles were a bit of a slog.  It was starting to get hot and I was breathing heavy and I was thirsty.  During last weeks long run I lost one of my water pods.  It is safe to say the water belt is now on life support and I need to look for another one.  My average pace was….average at 12:36.  I did have to walk a bit, but I got it done.  I’m looking forward to next weeks runs. It’s hard, but at the end, when it’s finished, it’s joyful.

Total miles for last week and this week came to 34.04!  I have completed 4094.19 miles in my journey with 6620.81 miles gratefully remaining.

Had this song playing on my iPod today…like with many things in life this is so true….

Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 7 August…Game of Thrones Addition

Normally I do my long run on Saturday or Sunday, but this week I didn’t get around to it until today.  Why you ask?  Well it really is quite simple…well maybe not that simple.  I’ve always been Janie-come-lately when it comes to all the popular t.v. shows.  I’ve never been a serious t.v. watcher.  I mean, I have watched shows, but I’ve never been too upset if I missed an episode.  Now days with DVR etc. you don’t have to worry.  So, I’ve always been behind watching the popular shows of the moment.  Always listening to others at work discussing the latest trend.  First it was True Blood, The Walking Dead and now…Game of Thrones.  I usually start off casually with one episode, then maybe another until I’m in full-blown series binge mode.  I must say though, the first two shows were good, but damn…Game of Thrones ya’ll!  The funny thing about this is I had bought season 1 a while back and I watched the first episode but I didn’t get around to finishing.  So, with season 7 out I thought that I would start again.

There is a reason I didn’t get my long run done on Saturday with Sunday being my rest day.  The reason, my head was about to explode with GOT overload.  I…literally…was…tired. I crammed two seasons in a span of, I don’t know maybe 4 days.  It started innocent enough, one episode.  Then I told myself, just one more, then I’ll go clean the bathroom, feed the cats…get the mail.

 

Then one became two and two became three!  Curse you Iron Throne and that crappy little boy king!!!!

During episode 5 of season 1 I found that I could hold my iPad™ while getting an Eggo™ out of the freezer and popping it in the toaster for breakfast, without missing a beat.  I would have saved more time if I would have purchased some spray butter instead of using a knife to spread the real butter…why waste time dirtying dishes…you just have to spend time putting them in the dishwasher and that means time away…..my precious.  I suddenly realized that I was eating only things that were readily available, meaning I wasn’t cooking.  I was hungry….

I was eating food that was already prepared like; yogurt, waffles, water and maybe a piece of fruit here and there.  Then on day 4 or was it 5…I’m not really sure, I discovered that I had to go to the grocery store.  I knew I was in trouble when I went in for groceries and came out with a rotisserie chicken, mild Queso  dip, a red bell pepper and a vanilla bean soda (cane sugar).

When I got home I tore off both legs of the chicken (my favorite) opened the Queso dip and found some blue corn tortilla chips and sat down on the couch.  I balanced the iPad on my thighs so I wouldn’t get it greasy from the chicken and the chicken that dropped on the floor was eaten by the cats…!

When I woke up on Saturday for the long run the first words that popped into my head were….your Grace!  If I hear your Grace, My or Mi Lady, boy or girl, The Wall, Winterfell or White Walkers…I might just pass out!

Today’s long run was good.  It was a little cooler this morning and I ran 9.  Breathing was great this time around.  Getting up there in mileage and for the most part the pains and niggles are ok.  I logged 19.37 for the week!

If I were to identify with any of the characters in GOT, so far, it would have be the Mother of Dragons.

I mean come on….whose going to argue with a woman and her dragons.  Everyone knows the dragon will always win!  Training for a marathon is tough, add Game of Thrones to the mix means it’s down right challenging.  I am grateful that I have 6654.85 miles remaining…Gods be good.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 17 – 31 July…Love Those South Carolina Sunsets

Took a couple of weeks off from blogging (not running) with a nice little trip back to South Carolina to see my family.  Once a year we try to get everybody together down at the beach, usually Fripp Island.  It’s a great place to go, free from overcrowding and plenty of things to do outdoors.  Beaufort is right down the street with all it’s Southern charm.  I keep saying if I could find something to do, I would live in Beaufort.

So now that the trip is out-of-the-way it is time to really start focusing on the Dublin Marathon.  Not that I haven’t but I have been moving at my own speed because I started training early.  I am about 12 weeks away!

Training has consisted of one to two training runs anywhere from 3 – 5 miles, speed work, gym time (aka weights) a long run (up to 8 miles so far) and a rest day ~ I try to go to yoga when I can.  Whew!  That’s a lot and there are some days I have to cut back.

My biggest hurdle so far is the heat (wears me out) and I get tired easy.  The weather here has been a bit erratic.  We were hitting the three digits then like a light switch it has become hot AND humid.  I think in September things will start to mellow out a bit.  But for now, I start off really well at about mile 2 to 3 I start getting really hot.  On my worst days I have to walk a bit and run.  Kind of stinks, but I’m learning to let that go, hoping when I get Dublin my energy will be “magically delicious“!  If you like Lucky Charms you so get that…..  I also have a goal of beating my last marathon PR.  My first marathon was the Rock and Roll in St. Louis and I ran in 4:41.  When we started off it was in the 30s….in October.  It’s always a love hate relationship with that type of weather.  Sucks in the beginning but five miles in, it’s heaven.  I ran all the way through until mile 25 when I slowed down a bit to walk and the guy next to me told me to keep going.  My goal will be to beat that time…I don’t care if it’s by 5 seconds.

I was getting up around 4am and getting out the door before 5, on most days:)  But I’m losing daylight now as it is getting light around 5:30.  My routine so far is a cup of coffee, Eggo™ waffles (I’m addicted), and a sport gel….hmmm hmmm good!  I think I need something else because I just don’t feel the kick in the pants umph!  Maybe it’s my age….who knows.  A little warm up, then I walk a bit and then I run.  I’m on a ground-hog day loop.

Had a blast in South Carolina last week.  One of the best things is I ran (for the first time) with my sister.  My siblings don’t know it yet but they will be participating in an event…soon…..and yes that does include the brother-in-law and sister-in-law (you know who you are).  The run was only 2.71 miles but the humidity!  I mean it was thick, but I have to say I love that type of weather.  Good for the skin.  I took a lot of pictures, but I’m always careful about posting other people for the most part.  My favorite:

Then a couple more:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  I’m excited to get this training cranked up a notch!  I have 6674.22 miles gratefully remaining in my running quest.  Dublin here I come!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 July…Hmmmm I Wonder What They’re Doing In Dublin Right Now?

Feeling this tonight…

01 A Horse With No Name

Let’s come back to Dublin in a minute.  I have been blowing through my water on my long runs like a fish during a feeding frenzy.   At the moment I have a small and (old) water belt that I use.  I’ve had it since I started running. Two lovely golden pods.  One is larger than the other and the pods don’t always stay on the belt.  Especially if I have been running and listening to my music too loud I don’t hear it fall off and literally on my return of the route path, I have seen a pod laying in the street.  I have done this about three times and I have found the pod each time.  It’s like the belt that won’t die.  So, you can see why I haven’t given it up on this old belt.  It’s a zombie belt!  Just keeps coming back from the dead.

I decided that I would try some of the electrolyte tabs to give me an extra boost.  I went down to my friendly Big 5 sports store and all they had was GU™ tabs.  I wanted NUUN™, but to be honest, I’m not sure why.  Probably because that’s the brand I hear about the most.  I’ve used GU™ gels of course, but not the electrolyte tabs.  The purpose of the electrolyte tab is to replace electrolytes when you sweat.  As I have said many times, I’m in the land of sweat…and sand.  Sometimes I think I’m the Queen of this land….

There were many flavors to buy and it reminded me of all the flavors you can find in Gatorade™. I decided to try the Tri-Berry.

On the bottle it says that “the tabs are reformulated with xylitol to help reduce gastrointestinal distress (thank goodness that’s one thing we don’t need) when compared to sorbitol”.  So did I feel magically delicious after drinking it?  No.  I tried them before I ran to see if they upset my stomach and like most of these things I find them  too sweet and leave that tongue smacking after taste in your mouth that you can’t fire hose away.  Don’t get me wrong it was good tasting it’s just that it was too much sweet for me with the recommend 16 ounces of water.  That’s just me, of course.  I diluted it a bit more, which probably defeats the purpose, but I found it much more palatable. I did use them on last weeks run and I felt like I always do…”Brother can you spare some water?  I’m out of GU™ drink.”  I always want to ask the passing cyclists.  Maybe the metric is I wasn’t face down on the pavement?  Hmmm, not sure.   The overall assessment is that heavy sweating = loss of electrolytes.  These babies will replenish that loss.  They are easy to carry and it didn’t upset my stomach.  Will I try them again?  Yes.  A different flavor and of course a different brand as well.

This weeks mileage is inching up there!  Exciting!  I have about 118 more days until the Dublin Marathon.  Oh that reminds me, let’s check in with the Dublin cam:

Dublin Cam  I can’t wait to stand outside the Temple Bar!  Maybe you’ll see me on the drunk cam, oh I mean Earth Cam, Earth Cam!  This is a G blog you know.

Ok, back on topic, this weeks mileage.  The runs this week were really good.  The body is feeling good, despite the heat.  I am settling in to a nice groove by waking up at 4:15 and being out the door and on the road by 5am…most days.  It’s imperative on the long run day.  This weeks long run was 7.5 miles, the pace is a little slower than I would like at around 12 minutes.  The run felt good and even was a little overcast today with some humidity.  I logged 21.61 miles for the week with 6701.82 miles gratefully remaining.  May all your clovers be four leafed!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 9 July…Running in Monsoon Season

Last week’s runs were pretty uneventful.  Which I guess is good because there hasn’t been any injury and physical therapy is keeping things in check.  For the most part, I’ve been doing and feeling well. The long runs are still a walk and run combination because of the heat.  I don’t really want that but the heat is just too harsh.  I go for as long as I can, walk to catch my breath then start back up.  My goal is to not walk at all… but I guess if I have to pick between walking a bit and passed out on the side of the road, I’ll pick walking…for now!

The monsoon season has officially started here in the desert.  The normal run dates are July 7th and September 13.  It’s kind of a double edge sword.  For running it cools things down, but kicks up the dust making it hard to see and breathe.  In actuality, it can be down right dangerous.  If you haven’t been here during the monsoon season, may I offer you a taste?

Courtesy of Dreamstime

Courtesy of Arizona Painting Company

 

The monsoons can be very dangerous but like I said it is nice to run in the rain.

This weeks mileage came to 13.15 with an overall pace of 12.19 for the long run of 7.02.  I did speed work on the treadmill last Wednesday trying to lower that pace.  I was very proud of myself for last weeks long run because I was on the road 0500 with starting temps at 98 but lowering to 94 because of a slight breeze.  I have 6723.43 graciously remaining.  One of these days I’m gonna run for fun….  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 26 June – 1 July…Have You Hugged Your Physical Therapist Today?

I think everyone should go to physical therapy at least once a year in my humble opinion.  You most likely will be blown away at how out of balance your body gets with the normal wear and tear of daily life.  I first went to a PT after I had my knee surgery four years ago.  As I was doing my rehabilitation exercises my PT casually mentioned that it looked like one of my legs was longer then the other.  Upon closer inspection she mentioned that my pelvis was twisted.  In order to get myself in alignment not only did I have to do knee strengthening but pelvis stabilization exercises.  I have always had hip issues and this was most likely due to that fact.  I had also received an MRI about 3 years ago meant for the hip and you know how that goes.  It’s like taking your car for an oil change and the mechanic says “yeah we changed the oil but did you know your radiator has a leak”?  This was one of those moments.  I go into for the MRI for the hip and come out with a slightly bulging disk review.  Hmmmm.  I know if I just don’t think about it, won’t the diagnosis magically just disappear…….

Fast forward to the present, the doctor wants me to get a follow up MRI. Since I have been having a few niggles here and there I was nervous about the prospect of the bulging disk because I still was having pain radiate down my right leg from time to time and of course the left knee issues.  Good news – no bulging disk!  It was gone.  I was a little perplexed because the doctor told me if there was damage or the disk was herniated then it wasn’t going to fix itself.  So he gave me an order for physical therapy to “fix” what needs fixing.

I love my PT!  She first made me go through some exercises and evaluated me then measured my hips and said, yep your right hip is rotated 1.5″ inward.  Amazing.  So I’m way out of alignment and now I have to work to stabilize and bring the pelvis back.  I asked about the bulging disk and she mentioned that if it’s no more than 9 degrees it can correct itself.  That’s great to know.  She also mentioned that the new running shoes I bought, the ones where they watched me run then made a determination on the correct shoe, were wrong!  That sucks.  Because my arches are so high the “stability shoe” I have is incorrect.  So, I will need to purchase the right shoe before I get up into the longer runs.  There is plenty of information and research on how the wrong running shoe has caused major injury and damage to the body.  My personal mantra is you can skimp on everything else but never on the shoes.  You don’t have to buy the most expensive pair, but a good shoe and one that is correct for you.

I’ve been attending PT for two weeks now and I can tell a difference already in my pain level during and after a run.  It is really amazing.  During my last session I mentioned that my right glute was really tight and I started prattling on about foam rolling and the PT says with a huge grin let’s do some myofascial release! Yay…uh what is that?  As a registered yoga instructor I know about fascia.  Fascia is the thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.  The collagen fibers that make up the fascia need to stay supple and be able to slide and move.  When muscles stay tight, the fascia clings to them, and both can become rigid over time.  That’s why it feels good to stretch, foam roll, tennis ball therapy and do yoga.  You may even have purchased an instrument for myofascial release and not even realize it!  For more on fascia read this article:  A Body Part You Never Knew Could Be Making You Miserable .

Back to myofasical release.  The PT tells me to go in this special room.  I’m excited because I think I’m getting a spa treatment!!  She comes back with a tool like this:

It looks like a shoehorn.  I realize there might be people out there that don’t know what a shoehorn is….I’ll give you a clue…it helps you get your shoe on…Google it my friends.  All the while I’m still smiling.  She then hands me the tool to inspect and she speaks in a kind voice, “see it has a little serrated edge at the top almost like little teeth”.  She hands it too me like a dentist hands a child the drill before getting a filling.  See Jimmy, it’s really not that bad, and will be over  before you know it!  Okay….spa treatment!  Then she smiles and says, “Oh yeah this might cause a little bruising”.

How could something so right go so terribly wrong!  My sweet PT went from all smiles to badass in 3 seconds flat.

It was like a bad European women’s wrestling match dream.  Spa treatment, spa treatment, spa treatment…I clicked my heals three times as I felt those little teeth digging into my right glute and I realized I wasn’t in physical therapy Kansas anymore.  PT smiles and laughs ~ “you thought you were getting a spa treatment didn’t you”!  I had to laugh…how the heck could she read my mind!

 

I’m not going to lie, it was damn painful.  I’m still feeling the “release” as we speak.  The only problem with PT is doing the homework.  You go and have these sessions, but then you have to be disciplined enough to come back and do your homework.  I would say I’m a C+ student at the moment.  I am doing the exercises, but I could be more disciplined.  Over all I’m pleased and hope this will make me stronger.

Running was good this week.  Still hanging at the 6 mile mark for the long run.  The long run was about at a 6 on the 1 – 10 scale with a pace at 11:57.  Slooowww and hot.   Logged 11.78 miles for the week.   I have 6736.58 miles gratefully remaining.  Even though it’s tough I had this song playing and so true.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 21 May – 4 June

I looked at my blog page and my countdown widget now says 4 months to go!  This is really going quick almost a blink of an eye.  I am in the very beginnings of training for the Dublin Marathon.  After my calf injury, again, I rested from running for almost a full two months.  During that time I have been strength training, walking and some riding.  I can’t tell you enough how much the strength training has been helping me.  Working on the core and legs have given me less pain in the knees and hips.

I started off just walking then I incorporated short bursts of running then back to walking and it really has helped.  I had minimal pain in the knees, especially my left, all the while building into longer runs.  So it seems to be working.  There is no pride here either.  If I started to feel little niggles I simply slowed down or started to walk.  The best part was my breathing.  I didn’t feel tired at all.  That was a fantastic feeling.  Although, it is starting to get very hot now, the long runs will have to happen in the morning…on a weekend ~ lol.

This upcoming week will be more of the same, building strength, and foot placement.  One of the nice things about starting from the beginning is correcting the errors.  I tend to slog along sometimes so when I’m doing that I mentally remind myself to pick up the feet and swing the hips more.  May has been my biggest month yet this year at 92.66 miles.  I had a total of 26.33 for this tally and 6786.02 miles wonderfully remaining.  I hope this post finds you well ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 24 – 30 April…Discipline

There’s nothing like starting over from the beginning, but that’s exactly what I’m doing when it comes to running.  I have a feeling, the knee and calf injuries will always be with me in some form.  Meaning that unless I stop for a long amount of time, it’s going to continue to hurt.  I will say that I am very proud of myself.  I didn’t run or cycle for two weeks.  Instead I have concentrated on strength training at the gym and in yoga.  There are so many different exercise to do that will help strengthen the core and legs for runners.  Google strength training, core, knee pain etc. and you will be inundated with different exercises to perform.  Sometimes it’s just daunting, so I pick out a few I like (that don’t cause pain) and focus on those until I get ready to try something new.  Strength training ALWAYS works.  I can already feel the difference in how my body responds and thus the more I can use my core the lest impact I’m going to feel on my knees, feet and lower back.

It’s all about discipline and not taking the easy way out.  You could insert that sentence anywhere in everyday life.  In order to train for something as big as a marathon you have to be disciplined in the way you eat and exercise.  I’ve often been told by a few people that they would love to run a marathon, but started training and realized that “hey this requires a lot of time and work”.  It does.  I do something at least 5 to 6 days a week to keep up.  Unless you are in tip top shape, it’s hard to come back after not doing anything for 2 to 3 weeks, and it doesn’t get any easier as you age…believe me.  So the starting from scratch part of it I’m not looking forward to.  I was just getting my breath down and kind of getting in a groove.  Now I must start again and when I say start again, I’m going back old school.  You know the walk 2 minutes run 2 minutes program. Physical and mental discipline is key.  In my opinion, injuries give us a chance to listen to our bodies before something big happens.

This week was positive.  I got out and walked and even got in a short ride today!  It felt so good to be on the bike again!  I could have gone a long way today, but I stuck to 11.75 miles.  Everything felt good but again discipline and no pushing.  I was so happy I got in 17.58 this week for a total of 47.09 for the month.  Feels good.  Half of last months mileage, but that’s the way it goes.  I’ve got 4430.66 in the bank with 6884.34 painless miles remaining.  (Just kidding).  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 16 April…Damn

Happy Easter!  Any time you have a post with Damn in the title you know it’s not going to be great.  I was starting off pretty good with the running.  I was running on the treadmill a couple of times a week with the long run building up on the weekend.  At the moment I’m going between running and cycling.  Everything was moving along swimmingly.  I was able to get up to 5 miles for my long run.

This week I was going for a shorter run and then my right calf muscle pulled…again.  This is an old injury.  This started about three years ago.  It comes and goes.  Most likely due to over use.  I have been really hitting the training hard and I’m doing a lot of different things.  Weights, cycling, yoga and of course running.  No doubt it’s overuse.  Right now I take 1 to 2 rest days.  I really hate losing momentum but it looks like I might be out for two weeks of running.  My ankle is now swollen because of the calf injury.  Foam rolling, ice and Aleve™.

I’ll give myself a week of no leg action, but still continue with my strength training.  Then next week will most likely be a walk week.  Minor set back, but something that needs to be addressed now.  Pay now or pay later and I really want to be strong for this run.

Finished with only 15.17 miles this time.  Disappointed but not a show stopper.  I have 6890.17 miles to go.  Resolute ~ Happy Miles to You!!