Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 7: "S" is for Speedy! "S" is also for Silence.

My daughter is going to a summer Pre-K program this summer. Every day their homework is to think of words that start with the letter of the day. Tuesday was "S" Day. Tuesday was also my 2-mile run. Instead of running a slow 2 miles like my training program recommended, I decided to run the first mile as a speed test and the second mile as a cool-down. When I got home and woke my daughter, I felt inspired. Here is what I told her on the way to school (with emphasis on the letter "S"):

I was Sleeping Soundly when my alarm clock Startled me. I Slipped out the door, drove to my Selected route, and Started to run. I was Supposed to run Slowly, but instead I Sprinted Some of the way. I was Speedy. I felt Superb. When I finished, I was Sweaty and a little Stinky. I Stretched, Showered (with lots of Sudsy Soap and Shampoo) and Sipped water. I put on a clean Shirt, Shorts, Socks and Shoes, woke my Sweet girl, packed a Sack lunch, and Set off to School. Such a Super Start to my day! (That would be 31 S words, in case you weren't counting).

Today was a 7-mile run. I have been listening to the audio book "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" on my iPod for long runs. I'm almost done with the book (apparently Oscar's brief and wondrous life will soon come to an end?) and I was looking forward to story time. At 0.2 miles in, the sound cut out. I thought maybe my iPod battery was dead. Instead, it was the earbuds. I've been fiddling with those darn things for months. I only wear the right earbud for safety reasons (must be able to hear traffic) so I cut off the left. The cord was tied in at least three knots because it was too long. All that adjustment left the cord a little frayed. When it finally gave out today, I ditched it and kept going.

I ran for over an hour with no audio book and no music. To keep my mind occupied, I played the game that we play every morning on the way to Pre-K. I chose a letter, and thought of as many words as possible that start with that letter. Without a kid, I didn't have to censor myself ("C is for Crackhead") and I didn't have to explain obscure words ("A is for Anomaly"). It actually kept me entertained the whole way, although I am definitely planning on replacing those earbuds before my next run.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week 6: Getting back in the grind & loving it

I just finished my 2nd run of week #6. After 3 short runs during my recovery week last week, I am back to my usual schedule of short/medium/long. I had a nice 2-mile run on Wednesday, nice but nothing noteworthy. Today was a 6-mile run. FINALLY! I haven't run more than 4 miles in one go since the 4th of July! Recovery week was nice, but I missed my longer routes.
It was fun to plan this one out, while still maintaining a little flexibility. This run was long enough that I had to eat a little breakfast first (a bagel with cashew butter), bring hydration, and think about my route. I parked my car at 6:00 and headed west, running a 2.5 mile loop which brought me back to my car where a cold water bottle was waiting for me. I carried the water bottle for the rest of my run, heading east and detouring through some nice, hilly neighborhoods. Around mile 5, I stopped at a beach access to refill my water bottle. I got home and actually had time to stretch out and log my run before anyone else woke up. Heaven! You mothers know what I mean.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 5: Recovery Week #1

I am really scared of running injuries. I get nervous if my knees ache after a long run, and recently had some discomfort in the arch of my right foot that made me paranoid about plantar fasciitis. I've been pretty rigid in following my training plan, because one sure-fire way to get a running injury is to increase mileage too fast. My training plan also has built-in recovery weeks to give the body a chance to take a break & heal. After three weeks of increasing mileage, there is one week of short runs. Week #5 was a recovery week. I ran 3 miles on Tuesday, 4 miles on Thursday, and 3 miles on Sunday. Each run felt good. I can tell that my body is getting stronger and my endurance is improving. I also noticed that my natural comfortable pace is getting a little faster. While speed isn't necessarily my focus for this race, it's nice to know that it is improving.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 4: Whew.

Week 4 consisted of a 2.5-mile run, a 5-mile tempo run, and a 7-mile run. Week 4 was also the week that I moved my law practice out of an off-site office and into my home. I bought and put together (mostly on my own) a desk, hutch and chair in the loft space that I had cleaned out and painted the week before. I packed 8-10 boxes of files and office supplies, loaded them into my car, and carried them upstairs to my home office. Things are mostly in place now, but I am still catching up on sleep. On a fun note, we had family in town during week 4 and we were able to spend some quality time with them. And the week ended with the 4th of July, always a big week at the beach, although not as busy this year thanks to BP's blunder in the Gulf.

Due to all the extra stuff going on my life last week plus a ton of rain, I went three days in a row with no running and I could really feel a difference in my level of tolerance. I was one cranky mama. I ran Thursday, Friday and Sunday. I was starting to worry that I was going to have to skip a workout, and that was a precedent I didn't want to set.

Waking up early and going for a long run on July 4th was a great way to start the day! I picked up my neighbor at 6 a.m. and we ran 7 scenic miles together. We were amazed at how cool it felt that 79 degrees, it was the mildest weather we've had in a long time. We got home just in time to wipe off the sweat with some baby wipes, load up the kids, and go to a community parade. We followed that with a HUGE breakfast out. If I just burned 700 calories, I am more than entitled to eat an entire western omelette!

Week 5 will be a recovery week on my training schedule (i.e., all easy short runs). I feel like I'll be recovering from more than the running.