Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your Shamrock...

...shake your Shamrock!

And that is just what I did on St Patty's day as part of Linzi and Aneta's virtual race!

I have to be totally honest and admit that if it weren't for this race, I probably would have bagged this run in favor of a rest day b/c I'd had a couple of tough workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday and a very painful deep tissue massage on Wed. night that left me so sore, walking was SUPER painful all day on Thursday. (I didn't even realize my calves were knotted and IT bands super-tight...I had actually gone in for tight back/shoulders...oops!) However, I decided maybe running would loosen up my muscles and ultimately I knew I wouldn't regret giving it my best shot.

Thursday turned out to be VERY warm (especially for this time of year, even in the south) and it was in the low 80s during the run. I did my customary "quick change" in the Newk's bathroom and then hopped into my car to hit my favorite shaded trail for the 7K portion of the "race".

At Newk's pre-run--thankful for clean and QUIET bathrooms. That's also NOT a usual work-out shirt but it turns out I don't own anything green and this top was the closest thing that looked "normal" with running shorts!

Go time!

Because of the heat and sun, I wanted to stay shaded for as much as possible, so I hopped onto a portion I haven't run before, hoping to get in a mile before hitting my usual trail route. This partwas mildly technical but ran by a beautiful creek; I wish I'd had my camera.

I could tell that I wasn't really acclimated to the weather and as I hit the 2nd technical portion, I could feel something funky going on with my right achilles (the previously injured one). At about mile 2.6 I definitely had to stop and stretch because I could feel like I was dragging my foot and I haven't experienced tightness like that in a long time. After crossing another portion of the creek I had to stop again and loosen my shoe b/c my left foot had gone completely numb. I was getting pretty bummed but at least my breathing, etc was still feeling great and I was on an easy, flat section of trail and headed back to the car. I ended up having to cross the road and run a loop around the parking lot to finish the mileage but finished, hot and sweaty, in 45:41 which is right around a 10:30 mile. Considering my leg/foot issues and temps I've not yet re-acclimated to, I'm pretty pleased with that effort. I'm watching my times get gradually faster (for me)...and it's always reassuring to see training and effort paying off.

Extremely sweaty post-run! Excuse the pit stains but that's part of being a runner!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I can't believe I haven't really seen any posts re: March Madness; maybe it's because everyone is out running? :)

Seriously though, I have all of my stuff packed to hit the trail after work to run in Linzi's "Shake Your Shamrock" virtual 7K but part of me wants to bypass the trail (and beautiful weather) to hit the 'mill and try to catch some b'ball instead. All of the games today have been exciting/close (or at least that's what I can tell via Gametracker between meetings and actual work) and great games will make the time and miles tick away quickly. However, it's in the 70s today and sunny and even though it feels HOT outside right now, I know that truthfully in 2 months I will be killing for this kind of weather as the south gets enveloped in the stifiling heat and humidity. Ultimately, I know what I am going to choose, but the alternative is certainly tempting. Speaking of which, I need to charge my Garmin and my iPod!

Monday, March 14, 2011

30 days

Has it seriously been a MONTH?

Things have been steadily ticking along over here as I try to figure out what is next. As we still probably have a couple months of favorable running weather left before the heat and humidity monsters set up camp for a few months, I'm not quite ready to declare "off season" but I also don't have anything serious on the books before summer starts.

Lee Ann is trying to persuade me to come up to Nashville for the Country Music Half (last weekend in April) and I am training "as if" I have half marathon that weekend. Truthfully, of the 4 half's I have run it stands out as my most miserable race for a variety of reasons so it's not necessarily a course I'm really dying to repeat. However, it's only a 3 hour drive and with the company of a friend maybe it's worth a redeeming shot.

I'm going to make a statement that's probably not going to be very popular, but I'm not really a fan of the Rock N Roll racing series. Yes, they are big races (which I like) but I think something about the over-mass production is a turn off for me and I notice that a lot of their routes are long out and backs which I think (for this kind of distance and race experience...13.1 or 26.2) is a cop out. One could say the same thing about a double loop course with no variation on a 26.2. At any rate, I feel like there is so much more to a city than a one street out and back and it feels like the race itself takes a back seat to the perceived glitz of the event. I've noticed multiple complaints about RnR routes in race reports as well, so I can't be the only one. I just got an email this week that they are making Vegas a night race, which I LOVE and would love to do, but the fact that it's RnR produced makes me reluctant to sign up.

So essentially, I need to hammer down a spring race or two before taking a little break from an official plan during which time I plan to maintain a 15 mile per week base and add 3 days of bootcamp to the mix (along with a minimum 1x week yoga class which I am currently attending). If all the stars align, I will kick off training for marathon #2 (hopefully NYC!) on July 4. I know that sounds like a long time away but it will be here before I know it.

This is how the rest of the calendar is shaping up:
March 17: Shake Your Shamrock (virtual 7K)
March 26: Rumpshaker 5K (Volunteering as a course marshall)
April 9: Diamond Dash
April 30 (MAYBE): Country Music Half Marathon
May 15: Warrior Dash (GA)
October 15: Race for the Cure 5K
November 6: NYC Marathon (hopefully)
November 24: Moore's Mill Turkey Trot 5K

What's missing? For me, I would like to do at least 3 total half marathons this year and 1 marathon. Once I figure out if NYC is a go, it will be a little easier to fill out the fall schedule. It just feels weird not to have a hard date on a few longer races. I know other 5Ks and 10Ks will be available (I am still chasing the 5K PR) and I can add these as they come up and work with my schedule. I would have done Atlanta half this coming weekend and had wanted to take the RRCA certification but I originally thought I was traveling to South Carolina for an event for Matt's family; however, that is now a no-go and we only found out two weeks ago so certification was filled and I was not mentally ready to push another half after a hard effort last month. I would also really like to do a relay but with the absence of 11 running friends to join me in the insanity, I'm a little stumped. If Vandy does Ragnar again and if they have room, I have an invitation to join Lee Ann's van so we'll see. Any ideas for races or experiences I should add? If not 2011 maybe 2012?