Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mental training

So, we're well into [half]marathon training.  I've run 64% of my miles this month during the past week! I was really feeling it this morning.  While I really like having a goal that I'm working towards, I almost quit this run before it really started today.

We ran a mile to the T and back, then around the block.  I seriously had to stop and walk because my achilles hurt so much.  I was just totally exhausted and we were only doing about a 10:40 pace.  I almost just turned back and went home.  No, I can do this.  I've had some really fast runs this week so I can't do them all at that pace.  I need a slower run.  It's ok to be tough today.

We start to head out of town through DogTown.  OK, they're going to go out a mile and then back around Ethanol.  I could just walk north, waiting for them to catch up from their mile west.  I have to push through this.  Here we go!  Rachael started her signature chatter and we sped up to almost a 10-min pace.  I was really working to keep that, but pushed along.  There was heavier than normal traffic making us run single-file.

We got back to the Ethanol turn and I just kept telling myself, "Make it to the top of the hill and then you can let loose and just run."  I seemed to calm down after that.  I was feeling more relaxed and was able to get going on a more normal pace.  We finished the last few miles well under 10:00.    Hindsight, it was a tough run, but good mental training today.

today's mileage: 8 miles running
weekly mileage: 30 miles running
monthly mileage: 47 miles running
annual mileage: 448 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 873

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crazy Boring Run

Maybe I'm delusional, but the Ethanol Loop is getting boring and I need to spice things up a bit to keep going.  I had a hard run tonight.  It was very consistent as far as times go, but I felt like I was really working to complete the run.

About the last 1/2 mile I had a bug fly UP my nose!! Yes, up my nose.  How crazy is that?!

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 22 miles running
monthly mileage: 39 miles running
annual mileage: 440 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 865

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bugs on the windshield

I just felt like running all day today.  I wanted to get up early and go out for a run, but just couldn't drag myself out of bed.  I was missing the roads all day today.  They were just calling to me!  I even took my 8th period class out for a walk today.  It was hot and they were complaining and just wanted to go back to school? What?!

Tonight I got home and just wanted to sit, but the roads were still calling me.  Bill was gone so I had to make supper and get everyone in their regular schedule.  Finally after supper I asked Rachael if she wanted to head out around Ethanol.  She wasn't super excited, but she went and it was a good chat/run.

Pretty much the entire run I was choking on bugs!  Yes, bugs.  They were awful out there tonight.  I felt like a car windshield.  ugh.  They kept flying in my mouth and one even hit the back of my throat.  YUCK!

Again we had negatives splits on the loop.  I just love that feeling!
Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 10:00
Mile 3: 9:45
Mile 4: 9:23
Mile 5: 8:43 Yeah, that's cool!
I'm starting to think I could maybe, perhaps, almost be a 9:00 runner.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 17 miles running
monthly mileage: 34 miles running
annual mileage: 435 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 860

Saturday, September 22, 2012

12-mile Vardo run

Today Rachael and I ran with the Vardos!  I couldn't see a map ahead of time on the email so I thought that's ok I'll just go with it.  We got there and realized there was no map posted ahead of time!

Right before we left the parking lot we got a verbal map.  I wasn't sure how today would go since my last run wasn't the most pleasant.  I have been stressed, fatigued, and on the edge of a cold.   I figured I'd run 6 and see how it went and decide if I wanted to finish the 12.  Oops.  There were 2 distinct routes that divided after 3 miles.  okey-dokey.  Rachael was having a good run so we continued on to the longer route.

About 1/2 mile into the route we met up with Mike "Wazowski".  It was great to see him running with confidence and looking strong!  He met his goal of a 30-min 5K and was increasing his speed.  Today was the first time he would go 6 miles.  He made it 4 miles earlier this week and was pushing himself to 6 today.  Yeah Mikey!

The routemaster mentioned the streets to take and I recognized them, but truly had no idea where there were or where I was going.  My goal was to not lose sight of someone so I could follow them or run with them.  Rachael and I met up with a group of 4 other guys and ran with them for about the next 6 miles.  Yes, this was the best 6 miles I've had in a long time!   One time I looked at my watch and we were doing a 8:21 pace!  Yikes, I can't run that fast!  OK wait a minute, I feel great.  I'm not terribly winded.  Why am I getting anxious over a few numbers.  This is a good thing.  Keep going as long as you feel great!

I felt some hills, but had no idea how big they were until I got the watch synced with the computer.  Yeah, those were some hills.  Here's a snapshot of the elevation and speed:
About 1/3 of the miles were at <9:30 pace, about 1/3 were at <9:00 pace.  Given that our marathon PR is a 9:38 pace, I am very excited about this!  I only wish for this strength during a marathon!

Yep, about mile 9 I started getting tired and wanted to stop.  No wait, stop that!  I can do this.  I AM doing this.  I have to keep those boys in my sight because I still don't know where I'm going.  We were also too far ahead of the group behind us that we would have wasted a lot of time to wait for them.  We finally got to "the stairs".  Oh my yes, those are stairs to be feared.  I was all but crawling up the stairs.  We met them again at the top and they got to a water stop.  It cracks me up that the Vardos don't carry any water with them, but stop for 2-3 minutes at prearranged water breaks.  Anyway, it was a chance to catch up with them.

We lost them during the last mile, or better yet they lost us.  The route took us back to the start at mile 10.4  WHAT?!  We still had about a mile and a half to finish.  I knew in my mind that I was doing 12 miles today so I had to finish the run I set out to do.  If I hadn't finished it, I would have felt like I was cheating myself, quitting.  Funny thing, during the run the boys asked if we were training for something in particular.  I said, just out running today.  They just looked at us and said, "Wow, nice to see people out here running 12....just for fun." lol  Yep, love those vardos.

today's mileage: 12 miles running
weekly mileage: 12 miles running
monthly mileage: 29 miles running
annual mileage: 430 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 855

Sunday, September 16, 2012

XC prerun

Rachael has determined that she has a great race when she does a long, slow run 1-2 days before her meet.  So we finally got out this afternoon.  It was a tough run and we stopped a couple of times, but we did finish.  Rachael had an amazing run and really wanted to keep going, but I didn't want her to get too tired so we just stopped with an Ethanol Loop.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 5 miles running
monthly mileage: 17 miles running
annual mileage: 418 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 814

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's wild out there!

It's been 2 weeks, but I finally got out for a run.  I always had an excuse, none of which were good ones.  My goal was 10-15 miles before church this morning.  I got up in sufficient time and headed out after waking up Rachael.  She decided she has a great run after a long run so this plan gave her about an hour to get herself ready before heading out the door.

The first lap of the run was in black darkness.  I was scared to death as I met much wildlife.  It reminded me of the Batman movies - always darkest before the dawn.  There are dark times in our lives where eventually light enters to brighten our fears, doubts, and emptiness.  Just when we think we can't, we rise above it and shine!  Yeah, that's what this run was like.  I don't usually run alone, and almost never in the darkness of the night.  I couldn't help but think of overcoming my fears during that first ever marathon training season.  Yes, it was like Bruce Wayne making his impossible climb out of the dark hole, overcoming adversity.

Enough sappiness for now.  About .25 miles into the run I looked at the side of the road and saw what looked like a mink curled up.  The longer I looked at him I realized he wasn't just "sleeping" there, his eyes moved about and he took a couple steps!  AHHHH!  These animals are known to be vicious and I certainly didn't want him coming at me!  About .75 miles I heard lots of rustling in the corn.  It was too dark to see but there was definitely an animal in there.  Yikes.  About mile 1.5 I could smell a nasty skunk, right after hearing some rustling in the ditch.  Yep, it's getting closer to me.  About mile 2.5 I heard another animal in the cornfield.

I think I was literally running scared by this time.  I had my last turn back into town to pick up Rachael.  I got on the busiest highway on the run.  There was a street light behind me and car coming towards me.  I looked down to turn on the light in my watch and shine it in the direction of the car so he could see me better.  I got a glance out the corner of my eye and saw a DOG!  He was at my feet, scared me crazy as my heart skipped a beat and I stopped breathing for a bit.  I swerved into the vehicle lane trying to jumpstart my heart again.  Oh wait, that was my shadow from the lights!!  There was really no dodge at all!  I'm sure the driver of that car was a little confused.  lol  It was the weirdest thing ever.

I finally made it back into town and got Rachael so we could continue on with the run.   About 1.75 miles into that run Rachael said, "OH MY GOD!  Did you see that?!"  See what?  There was a huge deer that was jumping across the landscape from a field and onto the property of a nearby farmhouse.

All in all, it wasn't a bad run.  I wanted to start off really slow (10:00-10:15 pace) and gradually speed up (9:15 pace).  That was nice theory, but considering I was tracking around a 9:30 pace the first 4 miles, I think it was truly a case of running scared.  Overall it was a good pace, but I was seriously all over clock - paces between 9:20-10:38.

today's mileage: 12 miles running
weekly mileage: 12 miles running
monthly mileage: 12 miles running
annual mileage: 413 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 814