Wednesday, November 12, 2014

11/3-11/9: New Kicks and Core Killing

Remember this post? Where I lament about running shoes?

Well, I finally got my new kicks - the Mizuno Wave Rider 18.

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So pretty ...

At the store, they seemed ... eh, but we decided to go for it. My first run in them - October 30th - was a four-miler that I negative split and that I'm pretty sure ended up being my first sub-9 run of the year. Coincidence? Probably, but it convinced me that maybe I'll keep the shoes. ;)

I've run a bit in them since and they get more comfortable with each run, so I'm pretty happy with them.

For actual fun stuff, though, on Tuesday, November 4, I went up to Boulder for SkirtSports' monthly clinic. It ended up being murder on my core - 250 reps of various core exercises - crunches, reverse crunches, bridges, mountain climbers, supermans, and stuff I know I'm forgetting. My core hurt for days. We also did a warm-up run and some FitDeck exercises, which was a blast.

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Stolen from the SkirtSports instagram - I'm in the top right photo on the far left, on the right in the bottom left photo, and on the far right in the back in the bottom right photo. Arya print for the win!

Other than that, I've been laying low with the exception of a plank-a-day challenge. We started with 20 seconds and we're currently up to 90 seconds ... and will in theory get to five minutes by the end of the month. We also head to Las Vegas TOMORROW for our final race of the season, so woooo to that!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October Round-Up

 I totally meant to write this Monday and was even thinking about it over the weekend ... but I had Monday afternoon with the husband and I haven't been able to spend much time with him lately, so yeah.

October ... was okay. Running picked up nicely, but everything else ...

Running: 51.6 mi
Swimming: 1500m (.93 mi)
Cycling: 23.5 mi
Lifting: seven sessions (1:46)
Other: crossfit (:30), two stretch sessions (:30), nine walks (4:55)

Did I do something non-S/B/R related?: Yep; I tried out crossfit.

Am I strength-training regularly?: Still, yes.

Am I injury-free?: My butt is starting to get a bit cranky with all the running (piriformis, probably), but it's not painful, so we're going to go with yes.

As I wrote in my paper log, running wasn't awful this month, but pretty much everything else was. Swimming has been shit because every time I go to the pool, I feel nauseous. Different times of day, different diet ... doesn't matter. I'm wondering if either 24 or just that 24 changed something with the sauna in the room because oh god the smells ... and then the lifting sessions I have planned after the swims suck because I still feel like poo from the swim. So frustrating.

The bike ... well, it's hard to force myself on the trainer. Walking has been my savior in terms of activity lately.

For November, it's running until the Vegas half-mar and then hopefully just picking up strength training from here on out. We're thinking of hiring a friend of ours as a personal trainer for a few months to really build up a strong core base for next year's training and racing. We're also doing a plank-a-day challenge with the MaccaX crew, so yay for that ... I guess ...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Grind

I think my lack of blogging stems to my current situation - the grind. 

I'm at the point of the year where it's the offseason for most ... and it feels like it should be for me as well given all the crap I've done this year, but I still have one more race - the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half-Marathon. I've thrown out any and all goals I may have had for this race at the beginning of the year - I just haven't trained enough or properly to hit them - but I'm still hoping to do relatively well and, most importantly, have fun.

But it's hard to keep training. I had a couple good weeks of run training ... and then two that turned disastrous. Last week was another full week. This week should be, if I don't sabotage myself. Then two more weeks and it's race day. So soon and it needs to be much, much further away.

Cycling is pretty much on the trainer these days and it's hard mentally to get on there. The effort it takes seems monumental. I've tried swimming, but the last month of swims have gone abysmally thanks to something going on at the gym - some smell, something they've changed with either the pool itself, the sauna or the steam room. I manage 5 or 600, but then the nausea takes over and I have to get off.

I have plans, grand plans for next year and I've checked out of this year and am just looking forward to 2015. I just still have to remember that I still have the rest of this year, too. And that I need the rest of this year to set myself up for success next year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Of the Oatmeal and Running

As an aside, I think training needs to get more interesting, as I have nothing to talk about on here. NOTHING. 

However, two Mondays ago (the 13th), The Oatmeal (a.k.a. Matthew Inman), came to Colorado as part of his book tour for The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I RUN Long Distances. As I had nothing else going on that evening ... I went to go see him speak and get a book signed.

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Inman talking.

He didn't talk much about running; instead, he chose to talk about a trip to the Galapagos and attempting to walk in Charles Darwin's footsteps (stuff he's working on for a future comic or two). He did, however, share a story on his possible fastest mile ever ... with him trying not to crap himself, something all of us who run have done at least once in our lives. (Example 1, example 2.)

There was a loosely organized group trail run with him before the signing, but unfortunately I couldn't swing it. 

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Signing books.

I got mine signed, and he was gracious to chat with everyone there. I was wearing my IMAZ jacket and mentioned that since that was so hard, and I've heard stand-alone marathons are harder than Ironmans, I have no desire to do a regular old marathon. He said that his 70.3 seemed harder than a regular marathon, so who knows. Maybe someday ...

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Signed to Team Baby Dinosaur!

If you get the chance to see Inman speak, do it. It's highly entertaining. Also: GO BUY THIS BOOK. It's awesome. Also read about the mantis shrimp (possibly my favorite comic of his EVER), because knowledge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10/6-10/12 - Of the Trainer and Crossfit

Despite being in the midst of run training, I'm trying to make sure I cross-train as well. Strength-training is staying around and I'm also attempting to swim.

The main thing I've been trying to do (mostly for next year's plan) is to get on the bike. Outside time hasn't happened so much, but I got on the trainer twice last week for a whole hour. That's nothing compared to what I was doing (five hour trainer ride, anyone?), but if it helps me get back into it, all the better.

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Getting back used to this view ...

I also tried something technically new on Tuesday, October 8 - Crossfit.

It was somewhat intentional. SkirtSports does monthly group "runs" (although I hesitate to use the word run as this one was NOT really a run) on the first Tuesday of the month. I thought there was going to be more running then there was, but there WAS Crossfit. 

More specifically, two laps around the office complex, stretching and then three sets of 25 each squats, push-ups, and lunges (with a short lap in between each set) followed by two more laps to cool down.

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Stolen from the SkirtSports Instagram feed. I'm in front in the pink shoes and IMAZ shirt. Taken during stretching.

I ... couldn't walk for a few days thanks to that workout. My manager who does Crossfit says the workout we did was no joke (and it was technically half of what was supposed to be done).

My thoughts? I get the appeal. I really do. I finished the whole thing, but both my squat and lunge form purposefully went to hell by the last set - I did NOT want to pull something and I felt that if I kept trying to keep proper form AND go fast ... I would injure myself. Which is something the detractors of Crossfit mention, and I totally agree with. I like how Crossfit gets people lifting. I really enjoy lifting (and need to do it much more often than I actually do), but you need to lift safe, and I'm not sure that always happens with Crossfit.

I will also say that I probably could have slowed down and kept with proper form even if it took me longer because we weren't actually being timed (like we would in an actual CF box), but I'm a little competitive and felt like I had to go fast. I do think Jen (our instructor, who was great) maybe should have told us to NOT go as fast as one normally would so as to keep proper form/reduce injury risk, but maybe that's just me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

9/29-10/5: In Vegas Training

This past week's recap will actually not be as fun as most of them are, unfortunately, as I haven't done anything all that fun. 

That being said, we've officially started training for the Vegas half-marathon.

The week started off slow (going to a metal show on Sunday night and then working very, very early both Monday and Tuesday will make one terribly exhausted), but on Wednesday, things picked up and have been progressing nicely since then.

I've also decided, for October, to do what I did back in January and commit to moving/working out at least 10 minutes every day. I can find 10 minutes a day. 

In terms of running, I had what I'm pretty sure was my largest running week in training yet this year - 17.22 miles (this does NOT include racing) including quite possibly my longest training run this year - 9.29 miles.

That 9-miler was ... interesting. If you paid along to my weekly recaps I did on here last year during IMAZ training, you may have noticed that I had a lot of things in "CCSP." CCSP is Cherry Creek State Park, which we happen to live down the hill from (no, literally, down the hill). We ride in there a bit, but I've rarely ran in there because I never wanted to attempt running-mapping the trails.

Then I got a Garmin, and I started to run in there a bit, but only a bit (my main 7 miler is an out-and-back into the park). Sunday, I decided, screw it, I have a Garmin, I may as well run in here.

Because it's me, and the universe likes to screw with me, my Garmin lost satellites at some point on the run after the 6 mile point. I glanced down, saw "6.03 miles in 1:03:xx" and thought, "okay, I thought I was moving a bit faster than that, but whatever," and kept running. 

After a while, I hadn't heard my Garmin beep for mileage (which I sometimes don't hear anyway), so I looked down ... "6.03 miles in 1:22:xx." Huh. That's not right. Stopped it, restarted it ... and oh look, distance registered again. 

Since thankfully the time kept running, I knew how long I had gone for, but I knew there was no way I only ran 7.whatever miles. So I ended up having to map the run ANYWAY. Thanks, universe, you a-hole.

In any case, it capped off a great second week of half-marathon training, so yay for that.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Running Shoe Lament (Free Verse of the Wide-Footed)

(Poetry corner on the blog today ...)

my feet, they be tricky;
bunions make buying shoes
an awful, awful experience.
let's go up a size
or ideally, in wide
for comfort is hard to be found.

since i started running,
lo these many years
(okay, seriously since 2005),
i've maybe had two pairs i've loved:
an adidas microbounce in black 
with teal and silver accents
and fun inserts in both teal and purple
that i got cheap at sports authority
(knew what i was doing? pshaw.)
and my glorious wonderful
(and unfortunately pinkish red)
mizuno wave rider 16s,
the shoe of ironman
(and thank you mizuno
for putting a wide in a fun color
that's not just boring white.
even if it was technically pink.).

then they died, as shoes are wont to do
and replaced, they needed to be.
the 17s? though pretty they were,
the seamlessness
and the top of my foot
were not friends when they met.

with 18s months away from release,
off to the internet to find more 16s
(old models meant cheap
or so i hoped)
and of course they're cheap
except the ONE PAIR of 10 wides i needed.
i needed shoes, so here, take my money.

but ... 
they never fit the same.
they try to blister my heels.
wide? you mock me, shoe!

people i know
who know people themselves
made me think i got a bad batch
(for the shoe says wide,
but believe it i don't).
a waste of my money
(serves me for not shopping local).

the 18s are out soon
(yesterday, in theory)
yet i haven't been able to find a wide
(i need to try before i buy)
(stupid feet)
as of yet.
i have a half-marathon in six weeks
and would like new shoes.

brand loyal i need not be
(i usually am
but said feet? mean shoes can not be)
but i think mizuno i'd prefer.
(never liked asics.
saucony? you wear out too fast.
nike misses more than they hit
and while zoot intrigues the triathlete within,
skepticism still reigns.)

so wish me luck in this journey
as my feet need to be shod
(barefoot i'll never run;
especially in vegas - yuck!)
and uncomfortable running shoes
are misery indeed.