If I could turn back time

I did something stupid last Sunday. I wasn’t feeling well but I went out for my 8 mile long run anyway. Now as I look back I don’t know why I was so bound and determined to get the run in. I should have stopped after the first mile. Or when I looped back to where my car was parked around 5 miles. But instead I had to keep going until I hit 8 miles. Even though I made that goal, I hurt myself enough that I had to take the whole past week off from training. And the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon is only a week away. Good thing I was planning to take it easy for that race anyway. So here are the workouts I’ve done since my last post.

Friday, August 21 – 13.78 mile bike ride in 1:12:08

Saturday, August 22 – a little over 3 mile run
The batteries on my Garmin were low so I went out without it and just did three laps around the neighborhood.

Sunday, August 23  – 8.11 mile run (Adidas)
I used a 5 min run/1 min walk plan again which seems to work well for me.

Hopefully I’ll be back up and running on Monday. That’ll give me a few days to get back in the running groove before we leave for Anaheim. In the meantime, I’m going to try and work on a race report for Chicago this weekend. I really need to do better at getting race reports out in a more timely manner.

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Catching Up

Whew, it’s been awhile since I posted. I made it though my first week and a half of training successfully.

August 12 – 3 mile run, 20 minutes elliptical, strength training
I know I’ve alluded in the past to what’s involved with the Expedition Everest Challenge. The first part is a 5k, the second part is an obstacle course, and the third part is a scavenger hunt. Last year the hardest part for me was the first obstacle which was to climb over a series of three hurdles. I’m short and the hurdles came to chest height. I let my gym membership lapse over the summer, but I decided to sign up again in order to get in shape for whatever obstacles they throw our way this year.

August 13 – 3.08 mile run
My first tempo run! Well, it was actually a modified tempo run that I found online at Runner’s World. I wasn’t sure if I could pick up and hold the pace on my own, so I did my workout on the treadmill at the gym. I started with 10 min at 5mph. Then I did 5 x 3 min at 6mph with a 1 min recovery at 4mph in between. I finished with 5 more min at 5mph.

August 14 – 13.66 mile bike ride in 1:16:46
Spent some time with Troy riding at Reach 11.

August 15 – 3.11 mile run

August 16 – 6.2 mile run (Adidas)
According to my training schedule, this was supposed to be 7 miles. But for some reason I had it stuck in my head that I was supposed to do 6 miles and I didn’t double-check the schedule before I left. Oh, well. I know I could have done 7 miles if I wanted to. Looking ahead, I want to do a marathon but I don’t know if I can run for 26.2 straight miles. So I’ve been thinking about a run/walk plan instead. I’ve taken walk breaks during my long runs, but this time I decided to actually take structured walks. I did 5 min run/1 min walk which resulted in an overall pace of 11:28. The run/walk worked well because that time’s decent compared to what I’ve been doing recently, plus I wasn’t that tired when I finished.

August 18 – 2.95 mile run (Asics)
Another (almost) 5k at Road Runner Sports. I didn’t win anything this time. 😦

August 19 – 3 mile run (Asics), 15 minutes elliptical, strength training
More intervals. 1 mile warm up, then 4 x 400s.

August 20 – 4 mile run (Asics)

A couple days ago I noticed that out of the blue I had a slight bump on the outside of my right foot, sort of where the 5th metatarsal (the pinky toe bone) ends. It wasn’t really bothering me, but I was a little worried because I couldn’t find any information online and didn’t want to accidentally do anything that would cause future injury. Yesterday, I called up a podiatrist who was able to fit me in for an appointment today. After looking at my x-rays, he proclaimed that he didn’t see any indication of a stress fracture and that I was okay to keep running. It’s silly, but I was so glad he said I could keep running that it didn’t dawn on me until after I left that I should have asked what could have caused it. Oops. However I did ask about my ongoing problem with my foot going numb, and he said that it was probably a nerve getting irritated. He suggested I loosen my laces, which I’ve already done. But then he also said to try tucking a small sponge inside my shoe underneath the tongue to help relieve the pressure. That’s a trick I’ve never heard or read before, but it makes sense. Now I just have to go out and get a sponge to cut up and fit into my shoes.

Time to get serious

After four days off I started working out again over the weekend.

August 7 – 3 mile run (Asics)
This was just an easy run around the neighborhood. 12:37 pace, although I did have negative splits.

August 8 – 16.99 mile bike ride
I rode to the Farmers Market to buy some soap, then did a little bit of exploring on the way back. It’s neat to keep discovering new bike paths. This time I went about 1/2 way down a path alongside a golf course before I decided it was time to turn around for the day. Overall 10.7 mph.

August 9 – 6 mile run (Adidas)
I went out to Reach 11 figuring the trails would be better for my feet, but my left foot still went numb around 3 miles in. Ugh. The first 3 miles were at between 11:33-11:40 pace. Then I started taking walk breaks, so the last 3 miles were between 13:07-13:16 pace. Still not too bad considering I ran a half marathon a week earlier.

If I end up going for my first marathon in January (at Disney of course), I’m thinking about trying a run/walk plan. But in the meantime I’ve got a different training goal for August and September… I can’t go into the details because it isn’t final yet, but I’m 99% sure I’ll be doing Disney’s Expedition Everest Challenge (EEC) on September 26. Since I’ve been focused on the half marathon distance for almost the last year, it seemed like a good idea to get in some short distance training.

I spent a whole bunch of time yesterday looking at different free training plans online. At first I was thinking about doing a 5k plan. But even though the first part of EEC is a 5k, there’s more running later during the scavenger hunt. So I ended up creating my own training plan loosely based on Hal Higdon’s 5k, 8k, and 10k plans. For the next 7 weeks, I’m adding in speedwork, tempo runs, and strength training during the week, and continuing with my long runs on the weekend.

August 11 – 4.5 mile run (Asics)
Tonight was my first scheduled speedwork session. I started with a 1 mile warm up, then did 6 x 400 intervals, and a half mile cool down. Between each speedy 400, I did a slow half walk/half jog 400. I didn’t do that well at keeping my intervals at a consistent time. In fact, I progressively got slower each time.

  • Rep 1 – 1:54.75
  • Rep 2 – 2:06.78
  • Rep 3 – 2:06.64
  • Rep 4 – 2:15.88 (not sure what happened here)
  • Rep 5 – 2:10.00
  • Rep 6 – 2:10.43

My Garmin was acting strange so my times might have been even slower. It was my first time programming my Garmin to do interval training and I think I did it right. But my Garmin kept beeping that I was done with my interval before I’d made it a full lap around the track. Oh, well. At least I can cross off my first completed workout on my training plan.

Disney and local races

Hi Mica and RunningLaur, my faithful readers. It’s a slow day at work so I thought I’d respond to your comments on my previous post.

Disney races are fantastic, especially if you’re willing to just relax and soak up the atmosphere instead of worrying about time. At the Princess 1/2 Marathon in March I had so much fun stopping to take my photo with the characters along the course. It made the 13.1 miles go by pretty quickly. (One of these days I’ll get around to writing up a belated race report about that trip.) I started running so that I could use races as an excuse to visit the parks, but now it’s sort of become more about the races. That’s because I’ve become addicted to collecting medals and Disney has some of the best “bling”. Check out these awesome Disney medals.

The only local race I’ve decided on for sure is the ARR I-Did-A-Green-Run… can’t beat free! I’ll also be doing some of the runs at Road Runner Sports, but in my mind they don’t really count as races. Unfortunately a bunch of the races I’m interested in are on weekends when I’ll be away, like the ARR Jerome Hill ClimbMoon Valley Grasshopper Bridge 5k, and Runner’s Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon. Then there’s the weekend of November 14-15 where I’ve got to choose between one of three races: ARR Just Another Mad Dog 25k, Run From The Sun Half Marathon, or Aflac Iron Girl Tempe 10 Mile. I guess it depends where I am in my training that weekend. Local races are nice because of the cheaper race fees, but since there’s less planning involved I tend to wait until the last minute before committing.

My non-running week and future races

Mock Runner's World Cover from RnR Chicago Expo

What do I do when I’m not training? No, unfortunately I’m not interviewing for a feature article in Runner’s World. But I thought it would be fun to share this mock magazine cover from the RnR Chicago Expo. I have another one from after the race too, that I’ll post another time.

Anyway, why does it always seem to hurt more the day after a race? On Sunday I felt fine despite (or because of?) spending three hours on a plane home from Chicago. But on Monday I definitely felt like I had run 13.1 miles. I was happy that I was going to take a break from training for a few days.

Monday night, Troy and I went to Red Robin to spend a couple of the bird bucks I’d gotten at the Run For The Cheetah. I had a yummy BBQ chicken burger and French fries.

Tuesday night, we went to the Asian grocery store so I could pick up some Chinese produce. I love how cheap it is to buy vegetables. Instead of training, I’ve been spending my evenings cooking instead.

Wednesday night, my car Stewart was not happy and decided to leave me stranded at the bank so I got stuck waiting TWO HOURS for the tow truck to arrive. At least Troy was able to diagnose and fix the problem for me so I didn’t have to take Stewart into a shop. Stewart’s started had to be replaced.

Thursday night was relatively normal. I spent a bunch of time planning our upcoming trip out to Disneyland (woo hoo!) and got most of the details sorted out. Since I’m going to be up early anyway for the races, my goal is to be at park opening on both Saturday and Sunday so we can get on the popular rides that we missed during our last trip in June. I’m also excited to try the famous Monte Cristo sandwich at the Blue Bayou for lunch after the half marathon. For the race, I’m definitely going just to have a fun time and I plan to take lots of photos with the characters.

Speaking of races, I’ve been thinking about what to add to the schedule between Disneyland and Las Vegas. For awhile, I’ve been debating whether to do another Rock ‘n’ Roll event this year, just so I can get my Rock Star heavy medal. I’m so close, and I don’t know when I’ll ever do this many Rock ‘n’ Roll events again in the same year. After comparing San Jose and San Antonio, I’m probably going to go ahead and sign up for San Jose.  Ultimately what it came down to is that the location of the start, finish, and expo are more convenient in San Jose, and it seems like the airfare and hotel will be cheaper.

There’s been a rumor going around that Disney will be canceling two of their fall races. At the RnR Chicago Expo, I talked to a Disney rep who confirmed that 2009 is the last year for the Race for the Taste 10k and the Tower of Terror 13k. The two races will be replaced with a half marathon. I guess I know what I’ll be doing next October, but in the mean time it makes me sad that I won’t get an opportunity to do those two races. I tossed around the idea of trying to squeeze them this year, but I can’t really justify making two weekend trips out to Orlando just two weeks apart.

I may still try to do the Expedition Everest Challenge, depending on whether I can find a cheap Ding! fare on Southwest. After all, I’ve got to go defend my title, right? Actually that’s what Troy keeps saying. On the other hand, I sort of think that it’s better to go out on top and enjoy my rare victory without spoiling it with a so so showing this year. The main reason I want to go is to make this the one Disney race that I’ll have done every year from the beginning.

So while I’ve enjoyed being lazy this week, I know it’s time to get out and start running again. I think I may do a slow 2-3 mile run tonight to get my legs moving again, then a longer run later this weekend. It’s supposed to be a great weekend with slightly cooler temperatures. If I can drag myself out of bed early enough, it’ll only be about 85-90° during my run.