Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Running with my Soul Mate

I had a rare opportunity to run with my "soul mate" yesterday. We went for a short, slow recovery run (it was her recovery day and my non-running day). I really enjoyed the company very, very much! Love ya, hon!

Boot Camp

I've known for years that my core conditioning is pretty poor. So a few weeks ago, I signed up for a boot camp conditioning class. The class consists of various exercises designed to work your core. We do plenty of push ups, crunches, etc. As well, as planks, supermans and more ways to hurt yourself than I can enumerate here.

I am fully aware that I can simply do these exercises at home and I can work myself pretty hard. However, it is way to easy to skip one session, then another. Next thing I know, I haven't done any push ups or sit ups for a month. (For me, running has been easier to maintain since I find it to be a good midday break and a good stress reliever.) By signing up for a class, I feel more obligated to go (the class has a set time), plus I know I had to pay for the class (I hate to waste money). Also, the instructor works out the exercise routine and helps to provide that extra motivation to push just a little harder. All I have to do is show up. :-)

The schedule for this class has been great. It starts at 6 am on Mondays and Wednesdays. I can usually get to the class, and be home and showered by the time my girls wake up. These are nominally my cross-training days (though I have been doing short runs anyway). I have to confess that sometimes, I can feel drained later in the day from this class. I am hopeful that strengthening my core will benefit my running. I know in the past, I have had races where my non-running muscles (think stabilizing muscles) have actually started to fatigue before my running muscles (gluts, quads, etc). Plus, this leaves Fridays for swimming and weigh training.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

No long run today

I've been suffering from some sort of gut issue the last couple of days. So I'll skip my long run today. I started a new running program this last week (a 16 week schedule geared toward running a marathon). Today should have been a 12-mile long, slow run. I will probably have to punt on this run until my gut feels better. I hate to get behind, but it is better than having a miserable run or hurting myself. My real goal is to run 50 miles in the Desert Rats Trail Festival in Fruita, Colorado in April 2009, so if I miss a run here and there, I think I should still be fine. Besides, next week, I am already going to run a 7-miler at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs.

Blow me away

Friday's run was a windy one! I decided to change the course since I was feeling quite tired. So I headed to Wonderland Lake. I liked the course and distance (around 7 miles round-trip through neighborhoods), but the wind was something else. Ugh!

I managed to make it to the lake (though I did have to consult Google Maps on my G1 a few times to get there). Then it hit me. I was hungry. Very hungry. Luckily, I found some apples on the return trip. Never has an apple tasted so good!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Running Quotes

I love little quips about running.  Sometimes, they are just the thing to get me out the door.

Regarding a 24 hour race:

"Nobody should ever run a race where they are lapped by the sun."
- friend of Alex Swenson, referring to 100 mile races

Some great quotes about long runs can be found at http://www.run100s.com/Quotes.txt.

It's All About the Shoes

Certainly for me, the most important piece of equiptment are my shoes. Fortunately, I have had decent success with several brands of shoes. I have a fairly regular foot shape, and only a very slight overpronation, so I can get a pretty standard shoe. However, I do tend to run a lot! And, over the years, my legs and especially my knees and feet have started becoming cranky! So, I opt for a higher quality shoe and only buy them from a good running store.

I have been a regular at the Boulder Running Company for years. I was fortunate enough to live near their Littleton/Denver store and now work just a block from their Boulder store. The staff are very patient and help me pick the best shoes for me (right fit and correct support). I always run with the shoes on the treadmill with the video camera to check for support. This last time, I even took a couple of laps around the block.

Because of my running schedule, I have to buy new shoes at least twice a year and I like to keep two pairs broke in so I can switch, adapt for weather conditions, etc. Plus, for my long, long runs, I like to be able to switch shoes a few times during the race. My last purchase consisted of two pairs of Brooks shoes. I bought one road shoe (Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8) and one trail shoe (Brooks Adrenaline ASR Trail). The trail shoe is pretty light for a trail shoe (a good thing). I have taken it on a few easy trails and have been happy with it so far. I need to put it to the test on some more rugged terrain (and I will at the fourth of the Pikes Peak Fall Series race on Nov 16th).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Poor Tired Me

I had a nice tempo run today.  The weather is finally starting to change.  It was a chilly 45 out, but after a couple mile warm up, it started feeling rather warm.  Then the real fun began.  John and I started out together and I think he was setting too aggressive of a pace.  We stuck together for around a mile, and then I slowly pulled away.  I really, really struggled to keep up the pace at the end of the tempo section, but in the end I hit my goal of around 7:30 per mile for nearly 3 miles.  (I forgot my fancy watch today, so I wasn't able to get the distance during the run.  But thanks to Google Maps, I was able to get a pretty good estimate back at the office.)