Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 74C--16 Miles

That is how far I ran on Saturday. A new personal record in both time and distance. Luckily, the heat and humidity broke a bit, so I didn't want to die right away. I did want to die about mile 12, though. My legs were starting to get super sore and did not want to keep going. The only thing that got me through the rest of the run was sheer stubbornness. I was not going to fail at my run. Here are my mile splits:
14:08--mile 1 (I have no idea why this was so slow.)
11:40--mile 2
11:36--mile 3
11:34--mile 4
12:23--mile 5
15:10--mile 6 (this included our first gatorade/water stop)
11:24--mile 7
11:43--mile 8
12:02--mile 9
12:48--mile 10
14:06--mile 11 (our second gatorade/water stop. Also lots of stretching)
13:11--mile 12
12:07--mile 13
13:51--mile 14 (third gatorade/water stop with hosing off.)
12:44--mile 15
11:49--mile 16

Because of the heat, we ran a 4:1 interval, instead of 5:1, so our overall pace was slower. Although, looking at the splits, I see that miles that we didn't stop for food or water were run at our normal 11:30 pace.

I wanted to cry when the run was done. My legs were so sore that driving was difficult. I had a hard time moving my right leg between the gas and the brake. I had to push it with my hand. Luckily, I was in really slow traffic and a short drive, so I didn't have to switch back and forth very often. I went home and spent much of the next hour soaking in a cold bath, which helped a lot. I was able to get out of the house later that day and walk to the train & to the movies.

This weekend's run has led me to discover a new muscle. It's commonly called the IT band, which is short for iliotibial band. I think mine became problematic from walking and running unevenly because of my tight calves. I will be spending the next few days stretching that out so I can continue to run comfortable. I will also make sure to keep my calves and thighs stretched so they don't put excess stress on my IT band.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 73C--Hot

It's hot out there. It's supposed to still be hot tomorrow for my 16 mile run. And it's been hot all week long. That, and sore calves, kept me from my mid-week runs. I tried the treadmill, but that actually hurt more than running outside. I tried the stairmaster, but that hurt, too. I'm hoping that won't hurt me too much tomorrow. Because of the heat, our run won't go south 8 miles & then back to start like normal. We will be doing laps this week. It allows us to have access to water more often during our run, without having to set up many water stations. It will be boring & a little bit crowded, but safer. Also, the path that we're looping on is mostly shaded, so that should keep us a bit cooler, too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 72C--Weight

No, not my weight, just my observations on weight in the US. It is clear that the US has a severe problem with obesity. On the other end of the spectrum, we have 8 million Americans suffering from Anorexia. These are both bad things, but not what I've noticed today.

Unless you're an obese person, society does not allow you to complain about your weight. Even if you are obese, courtesy will prompt many people to placate any talk about your weight. This is not good for any of us. Many people who are not obese could benefit from losing weight. We need to stop telling people (unless they're way underweight), "You don't need to lose weight" "You look just fine to me." or other things meant to make them feel better about themselves. I know we mean well, but it's not helping anyone.

As someone whose weight has been right at the high point of normal to the lower end of overweight, I get this often. I know that I'm overweight. I can see it when I laugh and my stomach shimmies like Jell-O. I know people are being nice and possibly honest when they tell me I don't need to lose weight, but the reality is that I will be healthier if I lose about 20 pounds. When I tell people that, it leads to more placating, but that's 14% of my current weight.

I know I'm not alone in this situation. There are plenty of skinny-fat people out there. Or people who are overweight, but not what people would consider "fat." Fat is not a medical term, it's a totally subjective term that seems to have changed meanings as America has become more overweight. Being overweight is a health risk and we should stop placating people about their weight unless we know for sure that they are at a healthy weight. That is not something you can know by looking at someone.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 71C--7 miles

Today was a recovery run of just 7 miles. It was shockingly easy. Luckily, the heat wave hadn't hit yet so it wasn't too warm. There wasn't any difficulty at any point during the run. I know this makes for a really lame blog post, but there's nothing to say about today's run. It was 7 miles, 1 hour, 21 minutes of non-eventful left after right. It was over as quickly as it began.

Updated: Here are my splits:
11:33 (forgot to reset chrono after mile 3, so this is an average of mile 3 &4)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 70C--Calves

I've mentioned my tight calves before and I had gotten used to them. They've been tight since I started training at the beginning of May. Yesterday, my calves took a turn for the worse. Instead of just being tight and uncomfortable when I walked or ran, they are now sore all the time. I'm visibly limping all the time. My right knee & hip are starting to hurt because of the limping caused by my tight left calf. I have called the physical therapists that work with T2 and hope they can help me out. I don't want to miss tomorrow's 7 mile run, but I don't want to make things worse and miss the 16 mile run next week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 69C--Hills

Last night was a drill run and it fit my schedule, so I went. I walked the mile to the lakefront and then walked along the dog beach for about 30 minutes before heading over to Cricket Hill. It was not snow covered, but that's the best picture I can find to show how big the hill actually is. I ran up and down the hill six times, then did some core work, then up and around the hill four times. Total workout time was about 45 minutes, but it was a very hard workout. Hills are difficult. I'm really glad that the marathon is basically flat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 68C--I'm a runner

Back in May, I wrote a post called "What is a runner??" Part of the reason for the post was that I didn't know if I qualified as a runner and even if I did, when I would feel like a runner. The answer came to be prior to the 6 mile recover run on July 2nd. The week leading up to that run and the week after it had me repeating a phrase and really meaning it. "I'm only running 6 miles." The key word there is ONLY. It is shocking to me that I used the word only to describe a run of 6 miles. (Even if I did put the only in the wrong spot in the sentence, instead of right before the distance.)

This Saturday, I will be running only 7 miles. Up until I looked at the schedule, I thought that would read only 8 miles. Either way, using the word only when describing that long of a run shocks me. It also confirms in my mind that I AM a runner. I no longer have any doubt that I'm not a REAL runner.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 67C--14 Miles

14 MILES!!!! And with some post-run TLC, I'm ok. The run itself actually wasn't that bad. From mile 12-13 1/2 our group was chatting and energetic. We stopped talking the last 1/2 mile, but that was when we skipped our last walk interval and just ran to get the run over with. Thanks to a YouTube video, I was able to figure out how to get my lap splits for the run. I did miss one of the mile markers, so I had to take a two mile time and divide it by two for miles 7 and 8. That mile marker was the turn around sign. The path is a big confusing mess at that point because of the Navy Pier parking lots and entrances, so I was paying so much attention to staying on the right path that I forgot to mark the end of the mile. That and realizing we were halfway done with our run is always kind of exciting and distracting.

Here are my mile splits

10:48--mile 1
11:30--mile 2
14:24--mile 3
12:31--mile 4
13:36--mile 5
11:51--mile 6
11:55--mile 7
11:55--mile 8
11:20--mile 9
12:44--mile 10
12:31--mile 11
11:07--mile 12
11:03--mile 13
11:48--mile 14

This seems to happen on all of my training runs. We start fast, then get slow as we stop for the bathroom, lose some runners and get Gatorade and water at the various Fleet Feet stations on the path. We also are slower on the more crowded parts of the lakefront path. With all the passing and getting passed, it's hard to pace well. That's something that shouldn't be as hard on race day because keeping the group together won't be as much of a concern. We speed up at the end after we've passed the water stations and everyone has gone to the bathroom. I think knowing we're less than 30 minutes from being done also helps encourage us all to be a bit faster. We never talk about speeding up, but it seems to happen every run.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Inspiring person #22

He's running 1/2 marathons at age 100. Heck, he's still alive at age 100. That's inspiring enough. Plus, he's only been running for about a decade.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 66C--stress

I am a giant ball of stress. My job is ending soon. August 12th to be exact, which is four weeks longer than the July 15th date it was originally slated to end. My lease wasn't renewed, so I have to move at the end of August. I have long said that the two worst tasks in life are looking for a new job and moving and I get to do both of them at the same time. On top of that, my job is ending because the office is closing so I'm responsible for packing up. It's basically like I'm moving my home and my job. This stress has caused me to have headaches every day this week. I planned on running last night, but my head was pounding, so I just went to bed.

I will get in my run today, though. I don't want to be unprepared for Saturday's 14 miles. I can't believe I'll be running a Half Marathon in two days with an additional .9 miles for good measure. A mere two months ago, I was running 3 miles and found that to be sufficient. Two years ago, I never ran at all and found that to be ok.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 65C--2 months in

Here's my second update on the weight loss that I hoped would occur during my marathon training.

I've gained 1 1/2 pounds since last month, for a grand total of 2 pounds gained since I started official training. That's an average of a pound per month. At this rate, I'll be really overweight by the time the marathon rolls around. Right now, my weight puts my BMI just into the "overweight" area.

I found a site that allows you to determine you body fat percentage without any specialized tests. It just uses the measurements here to calculate. I have 28% body fat. 40 Pounds of fat and 103 Pounds of lean (muscle, bone, body water). Unfortunately, the site doesn't let you put in anything but whole numbers, so these figures are not exactly perfect.

The reason my body fat percentage is less than on the first date is because my calves are bigger, meaning I have more muscle. Now I just need to keep up the work and make sure to watch what I'm eating and drinking so that my weight doesn't keep increasing as my muscle increases. I'd rather that I lose some more fat while increasing my muscle.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 64C--Heat

Today was a recovery run. We dropped down to 6 miles from the 12 miles we ran last Saturday. That was a very good thing, because 12 or more miles in the heat would have killed me. It was about 80 degrees when we started our run, and close to 90 degrees when we ended our run. That isn't counting the 84% humidity. It was super hard to breathe. I was winded within a few minutes of starting out this morning and never really recovered. My muscles were fine with the heat and the distance, but my lungs were screaming for mercy the entire time. I'm sure I wasn't the best running partner today at all.

Despite the weather, we finished our 6 miles right on pace. That was despite extra walk and water breaks and a stop for a fallen teammate. A woman in a different pace group tripped on some broken asphalt on the path and went down hard. She ended up with skinned palms, elbow and knee. All of us thought she went down because of the heat, so we rushed to her side. She was able to walk away from the fall, and only missed about 1/2 mile of her run.

I don't know if it's the heat, the run, or something else, but I've feel kinda hooky all day. I slept from the time I got home from my run until abut 2, and have been lounging around the 2 hours after that. I did eat, but it didn't help my stomach feel any better. I have also been drinking water to make sure that's not the problem. I hope that I feel better tomorrow, or even today.