Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Running for Two

Running has become quite a different activity for me lately! It's not about pace and distance goals anymore--it's now about getting out there and feeling good and making sure I DON'T push too hard. I hope the Little One appreciates my decrease in intensity!

I've only told family and literally a handful of close friends about the news because we're still so very early in but I am interested in documenting my running experiences throughout pregnancy and I figured now was as good a time as any to start.

Today I went out for a 5K and just took it easy. No heart rate monitor because, with the Holiday and lots of home re-organization, I've somehow lost my Garmin. I've got the monitor, just not the Garmin! I ran a hilly course so I just walked fast up hills and coasted down comfortably. I've been relying on the age old advice--run as hard as you can while being able to hold a conversation.

I've been following that advice for a little over two weeks now and it's amazing how much more PHYSICALLY enjoyable my workouts have been. Yes, I'm still facing many MENTAL hurdles out there. I find myself wanting to scream to other runners and walkers that pass me, "I'm PREGNANT! That's why I have water in 17 degree temps and that's why I'm so sloooooow!" It's hard for me to get used to this whole having-to-stop-and-walk-when-I-get-short-of-breath thing. I'm so accustomed to pushing past the discomfort and making myself better and faster. Hills? No problem. I would race up them as fast as I could so that I would get stronger. Not anymore. Hills? No problem. Walk it, girl!

I'm being very conservative until I see my doctor, which means I've decreased my weekly mileage by about 30% and my pace--I can't even talk about it. It's still hard to believe. My resting heart rate has jumped by about 15 bpm so as you can imagine, it doesn't take as much to get it up there when I'm running. That means I've had to slow way down--by 2-3 minutes per mile. It's unreal!

I'm convinced I'll keep running throughout and part of me even hopes it gets better, easier as time goes on. I'm just happy to have 30 minutes to an hour of no nausea or fatigue! Running is still the only time where I just feel GOOD!

Happy Running!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back at it...

I thought that it might be time for an update! I'm getting back into the swing of things now that the weather has cooled and my hiking expeditions have slowed!

Had a crazy run yesterday--5.2 miles of negative splits, rain, doubt and eventually, a little speed to get me going. That run got me thinking about the future a lot, and I have a lot of little goals I've been working on in my head for the past 24 hours. I may expand on them at a later time, but I think I may need to work through them all first!

First things first, anyway! NEW SHOES!

After my race on Saturday (Home Run 5K at Bernheim Forest, time goal was sub 34:00 and OT was 33:50!), I went with Mom to Swag's and bought two new pairs. I needed them badly!

First, my regular road running shoe--the Mizuno Wave Inspire. These are the 6:

And I'm very excited for my first pair of Brooks--the Cascadia 4. Can't wait to hit the trails in these babies!

So, in case you're wondering where I'm at in my running life right now, here are some notables:

*Long run is currently at the 6 mile mark. I intend to stay there until it feels comfortable and recovery is a breeze, and then I'll start bumping it up again.

*Back to speedwork once a week, either in the form of a tempo run or intervals. I'll take a break on that until December, when I'll start back at it again. But for now, my goal is to get my speed up a little more so that I run a decent race on Thanksgiving morning--there's lots of cooking to do!

*Recovery has become even more important for me, so I spend a considerable amount of time rolling and stretching. My knees have been taking a beating at work and when I sprinkle in some heavy training, my body let's me know it. I feel so much better when I spend 20-30 minutes a day working out all of the aches and stiffness!

Happy Running everybody!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shoe Review--Adidas Kanadia Trail 2

I was a little apprehensive to purchase this shoe--my first try with Adidas trail runners was the Supernova Riot and I wasn't really that impressed. They did their job but I never felt ONE with them. I decided to give these a try, though and I'm very glad I did.

The first thing I noticed about these was how light they felt in my hand. They're just a few ounces lighter than my previous pair of Adidas trail runners but it's a noticeable change on my feet--and very welcomed. The mesh upper comfortably hugs your foot and the non-slip lining is great when you're bounding around a rocky trail or moderately hilly trail (doesn't work so well on extremely steep portions, but I don't think any shoe is foolproof in that area).

I've had these shoes out on gravel, grass, mud, and mulch and I felt pretty confident in all of those. The only concern I've had was on muddy, wet terrain where the shoe had a hard time getting any traction on the uneven edge of a cliff. Scary time, but honestly, I attribute that to runner error, and not to a problem with the shoe's soundness.

[b]Two things impress me the most with these shoes[/b]--their superb ability to react to the ever-changing terrain on the trails I frequent (coupled with my occasional aggressive bounding and leaping) and their ability to shed mud from the outsole. That's always a major problem I have--mud and dirt will compact into your tread and you're left without any traction. This shoe does not have that problem. Sure, mud still finds it's way to your tread but not at all at a bothersome level.

I highly recommend this shoe if you're looking for a new trail shoe. No slipping, no hot spots, nothing. Just a solid trail running shoe that is unbelievably comfortable on my foot.

I'll let you know how durable they are after a solid period of trail running.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

2010 Throo the Zoo 5K Race Report

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? Today, I finally discovered what I personally think the answer is. Now, as a warning, everything I say from this point forward involves me sharing personal feelings and opinions. It’s not me trying to whine or gripe (though others today might disagree!) Instead, I am venting a frustration I have and sharing my learning experience for future races with you, people who may at least understand my frustration, even if you do not agree.

Today was the Throo the Zoo 5K at the Louisville Zoo. It was my third time running this race and each year, I definitely have a blast. It’s a unique course in that you run through the Zoo and are amongst the animals. And it’s a lot of fun to stay after and enjoy the free admission to the Zoo. It’s actually the one time each year that I visit the Zoo and get up close to the animals. Plus, each year we have more people join us, which only adds to the fun. The first year, it was just me and my husband (we weren’t married yet!). Last year, we walked it with both of our Mothers! (We still weren’t married yet, but we were newly engaged!) And this year, my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law joined the four of us! It’s such a fun time, and because of that I will continue to do this race annually—just with a changed mentality.

Also, I want to shout out the awesome barefoot runner I talked to before the race. Everyone was saying “Hey look at him, he has no shoes!” That has to get annoying, but I imagine someone who barefoot runs probably has a pretty thick skin (no pun intended!!) already. I stopped to talk to him because it’s something I am moderately interested in. He was what I would consider an experienced barefoot runner—with two years’ experience. He was open and friendly, and as far as I could tell, ran a great race. Highlight? Seeing him bounce into a pool of mud and get his feet wet. It was so innocent and fun! Observation? He had nice feet.

Okay, moving on. Three major problems existed with this year’s race. The flawed course design (which isn’t a new issue, but it’s usually easily overlooked), incorrect course distance and terribly designed finisher’s chute (I believe it’s possible that the chute problem was the main reason for the distance problem, so combine the last two problems if you wish.)

First of all, the start needs to be moved. It moves participants through a VERY narrow portion at a very early stage in the race. And we all know what that means—bobbing and weaving through walkers, strollers and groups of people oblivious to the world around them. Narrow passageways are fine on courses, but give everyone a chance to spread out before forcing us onto these early in the race when we are already dealing with congestion.

Second, my Garmin read 3.02 at the “finish line.” Anyone with a Garmin knows that if you want to run 5 miles on Friday, run until the Garmin reads something like 5.15. LOL Could my Garmin be off? Sure. But by my finish time, I know it wasn’t. The course was short, which many will overlook. After all, what does 0.10 really matter? Well, for me, it matters. It’s 160 meters. It’s 528 feet. And for me, it takes well over one minute to run that. That’s a pretty significant, if you ask me. Now, I wasn’t running a PR today. So why does it matter? Maybe it doesn’t. But it was frustrating.

Last but probably most annoying, the finisher’s chute issue. Have you ever run all out during a training run or a race—almost as fast as you can—and then stopped immediately. No walking, just STOPPED? Well, I did today. It sucks. It doesn’t feel good. Then, they proceeded to create two separate chutes just behind me, splitting me and my husband up. We walk a step or two, then stop. Walk a step or two and then stop again. This went on for the length of the chute and THEN they had two people taking our bib tags at the end. Unbelievable. So guess what? Even though my husband and I finished AT THE SAME TIME, he is recorded as coming in over 140 people behind me. Again, unbelievable. If you are going to take bib tags as a point of reference for the place of finishers, then do so BEFORE splitting the chute into two.

Of course, I’m probably in the minority of people out there today. Most people probably didn’t notice, probably didn’t care. And maybe I shouldn’t either. But I do. This is the one thing in life that I have CHOSEN to do for myself because I LOVE it. I love almost everything about it. So I care about almost everything about it. Why wouldn’t I want to run a well organized and well executed race? Of course I would!

So the answer to my opening question, does a tree that falls in the forest make a sound? Who cares? The forest isn't even certified! So it doesn't matter to me, and it won't matter to any other runners or walkers who even remotely cared about their race time or the distance of the course. Did I have fun during the race though? I sure did, and that’s the saving grace of the Throo the Zoo 5K race. It’s fun. Though I learned nothing new today, I did discover my personal feelings about running a non-certified (albeit USATF-sanctioned) race. If I intend to, I will do it for fun and only for fun. In other words, I won’t be paying attention to the falling tree. I’ll just be looking at all of flowers instead.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Muscles < Lungs, 1 wall < 2 walls

Today has been fantastic!! This morning was perfect weather for me (okay not perfect, but close.) Got started just before 7:30 on Scenic Loop at Cherokee Park. I planned on doing the full loop once to start and then take off to Seneca park. But I saw a trailhead in a place I've NEVER seen before, so I took it! I ended up on that trail 3 times before the morning ended! Lots of fun!

What I saw today:

More trailheads than I've ever noticed!
A pretty orange tabby cat, who stared at me lovingly as I ran by on a trail.
More runners on Beargrass Road than I've ever before seen...
A woman who looked at me with a puzzled face when I didn't move because SHE was going the wrong way. (I know I'm mean!)
A cyclist who said "Thanks" when I didn't move out of his way because pedestrians have the right of way.
That same cyclists partner who rode behind him, saying, "Sorry." LOL
A dead mouse. It looked flat as a pancake but was totally intact.
Lots of people asking for directions!
My legs screaming, if I could see that.

My legs did NOT have enough stamina today. My breathing was perfect...I only felt out of breath a few times during tough trail conditions or a big uphill but it never lasted long. But my poor legs...they felt like so heavy and achy by mile 7, which is WAY too early for that. I'm going to assume it was the heavy trail running I did to start the run. The first 6 miles were mostly on trails and I guess they just aren't ready for that right now. It sure was more fun though! Trail running is a dream for me!

Running to Seneca took some work because I was already exhausted--actually ready to turn back to the car and call it a day. But when I got there, I stopped, ate half of a Luna bar, hydrated and stretched my tired legs out. I felt fresh and ready to go again for another 3 -4 miles. Then I hit the second wall. OUCH! The last 2 miles were GRUELING. My legs would not move. I finished the 13.1 miles in 3:06. The thing I'm proud of is that I have consistently stuck to the RWR intervals. It's difficult but I do it!

I didn't mention that today, I ran/walked at a 2:00/1:40 ratio, just to test it out. I actually don't blame that change for my poor last half performance, I really think it was the trails. But I do think I'll go back to the 2:2 ratio for the race.

Getting close...and I'm getting excited!

Happy Running!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Feeling Stronger...finally!

After 8 months of not being able to run, I was well aware that getting back into it would be tough. But there was a part of me (that I never shared with anyone, it was my deep, dark secret) that thought I would be able to run 10 miles in a week or two without looking back. I realize that if any of you ever thought of me as rational, you are now reconsidering that opinion of me...

It's just that I reached my running peak a week or two before the KDF Mini last year and just like we think we're 21 forever, I thought I could run and run strong forever--even when I haven't been running for 8 months. *sigh*

So anyway, it's been a tough struggle. I started getting back into it by running as long as I could and that was just a complete slap in the face--YOU MEAN I CAN ONLY RUN ONE-HALF MILE? YOU'RE KIDDING! Eventually, I realized that the only was I was going to progress was to "break down" and walk during my runs, just to get that mileage in. So after some time it got easier. I could run a mile again!

Then came Galloway. I thought, "Hey, I'm doing the Mini in a few months, and I remember reading something about the Run-Walk-Run method and its success for injury-free marathon running. I should check into it for my Half!" So I did. And that's where I really started seeing the progress.

I finished 12 miles today and while I was running, the thing that I noticed most was my strength on hills. I owe that entirely to Iroquois Park. It just feels good to see that I am capable again, even if I'm run/walking. And also, today it was hard for me NOT to run. I wanted to run so much more than I did! That was a fantastic feeling, knowing that I COULD do it, but being patient and wise enough to not push it! I just feel happy knowing that I'm on my way back, and I totally stand behind the Galloway RWR method--I'm seeing the times I put up and I'm impressed!

After the Mini, my goal is to do a 5K and feel strong and fast!!!!! Can't wait to get to work on that!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My favorite workout, hands down


Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Thoughts from the Weekend

This weekend was the second leg of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, the Rodes City Run 10K! I am not running the TC but I did want to go out and support my friends! So I got up early on Saturday and drove down to the Highlands with my signs to cheer early in the morning. What I learned was that it's NOT EASY to find people that you know when they are running by you. I saw thousands of faces, and a few people I knew but only one of the people I was actually looking for!!! Go figure!

I did have fun running a 2 miler down there through some of the neighborhoods I've never been to, so that was a plus!

Yesterday morning, before the sun came up, I started on the last day of the first week of my HM training program. Because I've been injured, I am trying to slowly come back into the game and get my mileage up in a safer way, so I've been using the Galloway method. For my long run yesterday, I used a 2:2 ratio and finished the 10 miles up in 2:14, including my stops for fuel and bathroom breaks. I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours but as long as I stay healthy, I'll get closer to that mark when the Mini gets here. I'm getting SO excited and it's really exciting to use a new training method. I just feel like I'm experimenting and I can't wait to see the results!

Today, I'm going to do a slow walk with the dog to loosen up the legs and get ready for my run tomorrow!! Happy Running everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


So I'm getting better...but I'm not even close to 100%. Bronchitis is no good for someone who WANTS to exercise--my lungs just can't handle it yet. I tried yesterday and it didn't go so well. I felt fine during it but after I was done, I was in some discomfort!

I'm excited! I (and RuntheVille.com) am raising money for Kosair Children's Hospital again this year and I really want us to do well! We set a pretty high bar for ourselves last year so I'm hoping we can meet last year's achievement, at a minimum! I know you guys probably have your own charities and other things that you'd like to spend your money on but if you have even an extra $5 that you can donate to help the hospital--which does so very much for community's kids--please do it! It would be soooo greatly appreciated! Think about it!

Just for Kids Fundraising Page!

Can't wait to get out there and WALK! See you out there soon I hope. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hi there guys and gals...

Yes, it's been awhile. I hate to say it but I just haven't been running. Or walking--at least not for exercise. This hamstring injury has been the death of my relationship with anything physical. And it's left me broken-hearted. I'm also sick right now but I'm getting better, I think. I started on my multivitamin two weeks ago and went out for a walk with the dog early one morning, enjoyed Christmas and next thing I know, I'm sick. Go figure.

Just took my weight, waist and hip measurements and apparently, my waist measured at 35 inches exactly--which apparently is the lowest zone of "she's fat and her health is in danger." So that was a wake up call today. Time to get healthy, start walking to get back on track and see some progress.

I won't stop eating what I love though...no way. :)

By the way, I've really missed you guys! Hang in there with me, if you can! I've got some catching up to do with you all!