Thursday, July 28, 2011

I hate running...

This is how my weekday training days go:

5am: I'm just waking up and dreaming of running. Actually, I do dream my splits on most days. And try to beat them.

7am: I'm in my running clothes by now. Super excited. I can't wait to go!

8:00-8:03am: Ouch. The first steps are always the worst unless I stretch really well.

8:04am until the next gazillion miles are over: I LOVE running. I am going to kick some ass. I love this sport. I love my high mileage. I want 80 this week! These shoes rock! I may even take up single track because clearly I have talent (ha-ha). I don't want this run to end! I love running!

fast forward to that evening...

6pm: I can't move. I can't make dinner. Cereal tonight guys. I'm just gonna lay here for a minute. I'll set my blackberry alarm for 20 minutes. Please don't anyone talk to me.

7pm: WTH There is no way I can run tomorrow. My legs feel like cement. This is unreal. I can't even walk right. My quads look manly. I have permanent scarring from the tag on my booty shorts. I can't deal. I want to go back to Half training.

8pm: Screw it. I need to revisit the 5k. I would love track twice a week. I don't like marathon training. I don't want to ever run that far. Who talked me into this crap?

8:10pm: Lights out...dead to the world. ahhhhh


5am: Holy shit, I feel GREAT!! I can't wait to run. I'm gonna pad my mileage today. Hell, I'm going to Umstead again. I love running!

Please tell me this is normal?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Fast Fail...


I can not say how irritating, annoying and unacceptable it is to have your body not cooperate with your mind. Today I had a track workout to do. 600's. I did my usual morning routine. Then as I was about to get out of the car I just couldn't. I was exhausted. I have every excuse in the book: crappy sleep, 22 miler, killer swim workout blah blah blah...bottom line: Fail. #1 to be exact. Mind you, this NEVER happens!

So I went home and laid down for a little bit. Never taking any of my running clothes/shoes off.  As I always tell others NEVER take your running stuff off until you get it done. So I got up and had huge amounts of caffeine. Espresso, hammer gel, caffeine pills, fat burners. Just trying to wake up. I got back in the car and drove to the track and started my warm up. As you can see I ran 70 yards at 8:53 pace and quit. Fail #2. I was tired. Plain old tired.

So, now it's not even noon and I've had 2 fails. Wonderful. Well, I needed a pedicure today anyway so I had another hammer gel just to get my ass to the nail place. I texted my friend and coach Eric. Here is what I remember:

Me: I can't run. I'm tired.
Eric: What do you mean? It's that swim workout yesterday. You did 1 hr and too hard. Unacceptable. Where are you?
Me: Getting my nails done.
Eric: Ohhh, I see. So what we have here is a big fail. It's not "I'm gonna beat you" It's I'm gonna fail. It's not "1fast-frey" it's 1 fast fail. etc etc etc...
Me: um, nooooo! I will get back out there tonight and try again..
        ****meanwhile gritting my teeth thinking no way did he just call me 1 fast fail....errrrr. Fuck that!

Fast forward to 7pm. Attempt number 3. I pull up to my ghetto track and see a lacrosse practice. I needed 5x600 with a total mileage of 9 miles. I figured I'd pad the warm up and they'd finish. I schlep through 4 shitty miles at 7:43 pace tired as hell and trying to conserve energy for the magic that I will certainly lay out on the track. Because I am NOT a fail.

I come back to the track and now there are cars on the track and tents set up. It's not happening. Now it's out of my control. I am LIVID. I call Eric. I said listen, I'm going to cry. I've done warm up. Now what? We decided to do my 12 for tomorrow today. I quickly hung up and did 8 more. Still tired but pissed enough to pick up the pace to 7:20avg. I didn't come prepared for a 12 miler. It was very hot out so I ended up carrying a huge bottle of Aquafina on my run. Not ideal. It felt like that shake weight from T.V. lol

So, I did a workout. Not the workout I was supposed to do but at least I did something. I think doing a workout with adverse circumstances is good for you. Being "tired" and not doing anything works for some people but for me the psychological repercussions are waaaaay too extreme to enjoy relaxing on the couch after a fail. I'm glad I did the 12 and will be happier when I do the 600's tomorrow.

And I'm writing this at 11pm because I'm finally too jacked and can't sleep!!!! Help me!!!!

Oh well...have a good night peeps

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Get it!

Hell to the ya..Word to ya mutha! This week was my highest weekly mileage: 76 and today was my highest daily: 22.  Not bad for 6 days of running. I am slowly learning to take each run a littler more seriously and not run balls out like a 5th grader everyday. This week went like this:

Monday: swim
Tuesday: 12 miles at 7:30 pace
Wednesday: 10 miles at 7:18 pace
Thursday: 14 miles total. 6 @ 6:30 pace
Friday: 8 miles at 7:18 pace
Saturday: 10 miles at 7:40 pace
Sunday: 22 miles at 8:01 pace. Last 4 miles faster. Last mile sub 7 (just for tradition)
***note all these miles were mid morning at 95+ degrees expect for Sunday at 6am and maybe 90 degrees. But you were probably running in the same thing too. lol.

My long run details:
22 miles
8:01 pace
Umstead Park : 1600 feet of elevation (fricken hilly)
My wing men: John and Pavel. Neither "needed" a run that long but they were soooo kind as to keep me company. I truly would have tanked without their help. Thanks guys!

I have to say the hardest part about that run was staying at a reasonable pace. I 'know' there is no need to race my long runs.  This was good practice. I had two fears though: 1. I was going to go too fast which isn't really the point.  2. I wouldn't want to run 22 miles and lose it mentally. Thankfully neither happened. I figured around mile 18 I'd change the pace. I just wanted to get it done by that point. I am happy that I dropped the pace and felt fine. yee-haw!

I had one hammer gel, g2 and park water 3x. Including the dog bowl fountain, errrrr...Mile 21. It had to be done. I just filled my bottle. I didn't get down and lick it! Gimme some credit!

All and all a great week in deplorable heat. I look forward to my swim tomorrow. If anyone wants to go to Pullen Pool let me know. Deep water swimming is scary fun!

Party on peeps. Happy running!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mind over Matter

That is the only way to do a tempo run in 100 degrees. Today I had a 14 miler. It was broken down like this:

2 mile warm up
20 minutes of tempo 6:30, 6:43, 6:30 avg: 6:34 / 3.04 miles
1 mile easy 8:30 pace
20 minutes tempo 6:27, 6:41, 6:25 avg: 6:34 / 3.05 miles
20 minutes easy
2 mile cool down together 5 miles @ 7:44 pace

I am so glad it's over. The only time I could run was 8-10am. At the end of my run my car said 102 degrees. I have a sunburn. It was full in your face sun. The one mile in between the 2x20 mins was not supposed to happen. It was supposed to be a few minutes. But it was the only way to run this pace in this heat. 

The faster miles took focus. All I cared about was keeping it mid 6. Then when I was done with those miles I didn't give a shit if I walked. I ended up doing 7:30-7:45 miles for the remainder of the run. Those were harder because I didn't have a goal pace.

I brought my usual 9oz of g2 and a hammer gel which I ate on the warm up. That got me through the tempo. After that I needed a drink!! I saw an electrician working on the side of the road. DING DING DING those dudes have water. I asked if he could fill my handheld. He had a huge igloo cooler. He said his wife is doing a 15 miler today and made me drink the 9oz and then refilled it again. Very nice dude. Aside from making me feel like a 7 year old. lol.

That is dead face right there...Totally trashed 

I feel like running in this heat is like a Dali art...just messed up!

Friday and Saturday I have easy runs then Sunday I have 22 miles. You'll hear about that one. lol.
Party on peeps...Stay strong!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Honey Badger Breakfast

Every run has a purpose. Today my Wednesday 10-miler was about guts. Running on empty in the face of extreme fatigue. Some people head for the gym or reduce speed and mileage. I don't. I have a plan. It is called : Toughen up LaBella. I've had a few races lately where I feel I wimped out. So I figure if I can gut it out on training runs it won't feel so bad during a race. I have a few races in mind coming up and they are not easy so I believe this will help me. I hope! If not, see ya on the treadmill. lol.

Conditions today were deplorable. More so than usual:

I ran late morning. Never fun. The heat index was 95 degrees. The elevation was 600feet. The air was so thick it was hard to swallow. And I had to deal with the greenway sweepers and lawnmowers stirring up the dirt for 2 miles. I was looking for the camera crew. Clearly, I was being punked, right?!

That type of stuff fuels me. I did the run @ 7:18 pace with the last mile sub 7. Probably one of the hardest runs this summer.

For the run I had:

9oz of G2
9oz of water from a fountain

Before the run I had:
5oz of espresso
2 Sport Leg pills
B12 gummies
a bag of extreme sport beans

After my run:

You know I love Espresso Hammer Gel. Someone joked that I probably put it on my toast. Good idea!! Screw Nutella!

Tomorrow's tempo is going to be tough. Not sure about that one!!!

Happy summer peeps! Stay strong. Don't fold!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I have been humbled by the... scariest...swim....ever...

Today is my swim day. Always a welcomed break. However, the pool I have been using had a swim meet today. So, I went to another public pool: Pullen Park Pool. I figure what's the big deal. Water is water. TWO things were the matter. Distance and Depth.  I normally swim in a 25 meter pool. I have never even seen a 50 meter pool, until today. At first glance the experience is like this:





At first you think " OMG Holy crap" But 2 seconds later you're like 
                                 "GAME ON!"

So in swimming land it was more like this:

My normal distance 25 meters

This is Pullen Park Park. Much bigger. 50 down. 25 across.

So at first I was a little startled but 2 seconds later I was so excited!! I couldn't wait to get in. The lanes were set up as 50 meter lanes but they were about to change them to 25 meter lanes. Sooo, I was pretty much solo in the pool without any lane dividers (read---> security blanket). Not having lane dividers always always feels weird, but whatever I get in and grab my pull buoy. This is a swim buoy that stabilizes your legs so you can focus on your stroke. I use it the first 10 minutes of every swim as a warm up. 
this is my pull buoy.
 So, I start swimming in this big ass pool all alone with my legs pretty much tied up by the buoy. I'm excited! I get half way across the pool and THE FLOOR DROPS! It goes from stand up depth to 14 feet deep. A little preface on me: I am afraid of heights. I can't look down on a ski lift. I hate roof top anything. It's an irrational fear. I deal. 

But now I am forced to look down into this abyss. I want to cry. I totally panic which as a swimmer you can not do. If your breathing is messed up you're done. The fear felt like this:

Two things enter my mind: There are 3 life guards probably looking at the new girl and I don't want to look like a chicken shit. And, omg, omg, I tried to keep my composure and focus on getting across the abyss. I closed my eyes and did a much faster swim and maniac breathing. I got to the end and clung to the wall. I'm still 14 feet from the bottom. I did not want to go back. 

But, in times like these I have a little bad-ass self talk and say, "cut it out and get in there!" So I pushed off and did self talk therapy across the deep part. I did that a few more laps and then they changed it to 25 meters. So I had my choice of lanes depths. 4 feet to about 12 feet. I was now pissed that I ninnied out so I made myself swim in the 12 feet deep 25 meter lap lane. I probably had tears in my goggles but that's just unacceptable! After maybe 10 minutes of scarey swimming I mellowed out and had a great swim. It was actually cool to swim that deep. Although the bottom of the pool markings look more like the landing field at RDU. Lots of lines. Solids and  breaks, uggg...go just straight LaBella...look for the wall and flip!
So now I love deep water swimming. I'll definitely go back there next week. I wish I had a video of this experience!

Ahhh, glad I'm not a newbie anymore! 

happy monday friends!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cut back week is over!

I love routine. I like my mileage. I have a coach who doesn't care what I "like." Enter---> cutback week.

I understand the premise. I agree with it. However, I don't LIKE doing it. But as I have been told many times "LaBella, you're not running for fun, you're training." True. Still, as David Alan Greer and Damon Wayans say : HATED IT! I hope you remember the show In Living Color from the early 90's. Forget my $100,000 education with a 3.99 cum gpa from The University of Miami..Forget that, 75% of my vocabulary is from this show. lol!

Okay, so here is my week. I keep a hard copy. Old school style..
I didn't anticipate sharing this. kinda messy.

I love to write about my long run. Lately, my Sunday long run has been great. I am so grateful beyond belief. Today it was 15 miles. Because it was shorter I decided to hit the hills of Umstead. I started at 6:30am with a plan of doing whatever felt good. I knew a few groups that were going to be out there and tried to join in for a few miles with each. First, I saw John and Pavel.  We did most of the run together. Along the way we picked up Tim Meigs and Rob Wilson. Everyone split off at some point and I made it back to my car. I can't tell you how grateful I was to run with others! Most of my runs are solo.

Nothing major. I felt great. Hated to stop at 15, but I have 22 next Sunday. Holla!

For nutrition on this run I had: 1 Gatorade Prime on the car ride over, 2 "Sport Legs" pills, 8oz of espresso, G2 in a handheld, 1 Hammer gel and 2 refills of the handheld with water.

Happy Runnings Friends!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nothing but Division I tracks for LaBella

Haaaa. Being that we're having a sick ass heat wave with temps in the low 100's this week in Raleigh, NC. I have to get my run started before 6am so I can at least have 85 degrees in the dusk. So my running options are limited unless I want to get up even earlier and drive somewhere good. Today I had a track workout and wanted to try this track out in Wakefield. I've never been there. I wasn't sure if it was going to be locked or what the situation was going to be.

So I parked 2 miles away where I always park and had a back up plan of running on the road for my 800's if I couldn't get in. Well, that was not a problem! Here are some pics. lol:

Nothing like a Food Lion parking lot in the morning.
ok pretty warm up mile

WTF??! This is the track I wake up at 4:45am for?! ok, well the asphalt wasn't too broken up. 

I'm a track snob. I hate asphalt. I have a fit if I see rocks in lane one. This one had 2" of grass clippings for 100 meters. Lots of rocks. A slight uphill at the 300 mark. But hey, I had place to put my drink.

I did a 2 mile warm up. then 6x800 and 2 mile cool down:

2:50, 2:51, 2:51, 2:52, 2:52, 2:51

It was betw 85 and 90 degrees and bad humidity. I don't even look anymore. I will say that the only perk to track in stagnant heat is that you get a breeze when you run faster. Yay for that!

Later peeps

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Notes on my long run before I forget

Pure nastiness. Why all over my hand? Thank god I didn't look in the mirror. I bet it wasn't pretty!

My long run today was 19 miles. 3 mile warm up, 15 miles faster and 1 mile cool down. I had no choice but to start at 5:30 am. I have stuff to do and it just takes so long to run that far.

I woke up at 4:30. Drank espresso and got dressed. I'm glad it was dark because I had way too much neon on. I prefer neon in the early hours just so people can see me. I ran in Wakefield. It's a hilly route with sidewalks, but I don't like concrete sidewalks so I run in the road. It's softer on my feet. It keeps me awake. The whole, "look out for oncoming traffic" thing keeps me on my toes.

So the first 3 miles were oddly slow but felt faster. I think because it was in the pitch dark. Every shadow looked like a snake or animal that was going to eat me. Not fun. Very stressful.

Those splits were:7:57, 7:55, 7:47 and 191 feet of elevation. Garmin here

So I got to the top of the hill in the dark. I stopped and thought to myself ok, I need to go faster now. I was tired. It was like 6am. I wanted to go to bed. But I drank some G2 in my handheld and took off. I planned it so that at mile 10 I could stop at my car and refill my G2 and pick up a hammer gel. It was something to look forward to.

My splits on the next 15 miles were:
6:41  hammer gel. Espresso with 50mg's of caffeine. Refill on G2 9oz

My initial goal was 7:10 pace. But being that I wasn't getting any 7:10's I changed my mind to 7:05 pace. I had a dream last night that I ran the 15 miles in 7:04 pace so I figured ok that's cool. Than I refilled the G2 and had the Hammer Gel. No more 7's period. And I swear no more effort. Normally if I bust out a 6:3X in the middle of any run I'll pay for it. Not today. So I just stayed consistent effort wise. My overall avg pace was 6:54. Garmin here

I had a couple 20 second stops to get the gel from the bottom of the pack. Clearly, something I need to work on or maybe bring another one. But it's all new to me. I'm learning.

By now I had climbed 800 feet of elevation in 100 humidity and 75 degrees. The terrain is rolling enough to just about kill you but then give way to a good downhill.

Towards the end I started to get cocky. I wanted to close my eyes and just rest a little (while doing 6:45 pace lol) So the last mile had downhill and I shut my eyes and BAM a manhole cover. I did the sloppiest, drunk looking trip but didn't fall. I said okaaay, no more sleepy time. Run, run, run....

I finished the 15 and then did a one mile cool down. Completely up a hill. 7:58 pace. Yay. done! Total elevation almost 1000ft.

Overall, a good run. You guys asked about the liquid. I drank 18oz of g2 and had one gel over the entire run. I wish I had more.  I sweat 6 lbs of water during the run. There weren't any fountains and I really don't want to carry a larger hand held. I feel I can just barely get by with 18oz. I have more gatorade in my car with an ice pack when I finish.

oh and FYI. Resetting my watch totally tricked me into thinking I had not run so far. I cleared it after the 3 mile warm up. So near the end of what really was 18 I kept telling myself 15. I "knew" I ran longer but seeing it on the garmin made me feel like having energy was still possible. I punked myself, beautiful!

Have a great Sunday!
Party on...xoxo

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Running!

BRUTAL. That's all I can say about running in Raleigh, NC everyday in the summer. I just don't get how the humidity can be 100% yet no chance of rain. The steam off the sidewalks gets just high enough to choke you. It's like I'm continuously trying to pass this bitch. but...can'
But, it is what it is. I do my best. Something really happens after mile 3 that makes it easier. I'm trying to figure it out. It's either:

a. delirium sets in
b. I've lost enough water weight to move faster (I avg 5lbs per run)
c. fight or flight. I think I feel like I need to save my life and get there faster. lol
d. endorphins?
e. that's about when all my creakies and tight muscles loosen up.
f. because I'm a wanna be bad-ass and I can.

Answer: all of the above!

By mile 4 I have that "hell ya. take that bitch!" attitude. By mile 8 I become a sprinkler stalker. I can fully drench myself  yet avoid my ipod and shoes in 30 seconds or less. Talent right there! From mile 10 and on I'm usually focused on my average pace and will haul ass or keep steady ass to hit my target.

This week I did:
Monday: 45 swim
Tuesday: 9 miles. 8 miles @ 7:05 pace and then 100's.
Wednesday: 10 miles @ 7:01 pace
Thursday: 12 miles with 30 minutes at 6:30 pace
Friday: 7 miles @ 7:14 pace
Saturday: 10 miles @ 7:15 pace

Tomorrow I have 19 miles. That is 67 miles for the week. I have to run early tomorrow. At 5:30am I have to hit start on the garmin. Ugh.
Ok I've had 1 hammer gel in my life but it makes me feel
so "ultra-ish" ps. Chaz this may work for you ; )

Alright peeps. It's probably my bedtime. Time for my 3 faves: Compression socks, Icy Hot and 2 Motrin. Such a beautiful thing.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Another 20 for the books!

Ah yes, another 20 miler done. There is some victory that starts to creep in after mile 17. Running 20 miles is an accomplishment, I think.

Today I ran in Umstead State Park today. Probably my favorite running location.

Temp: mid 70's to mid 80's
Humidity: 88% in the beginning. It got much better though
Start Time: 6:30am
Total time: 2:27 Pace Avg: 7:21 Last mile 6:57.
awe yeah!

Here's how the run went in a nutshell:

20: # of miles
1385: Total feet of elevation 
1612:  # of calories burned
5: # of pounds lost in sweat.
30: # of ounces of water and G2 I drank
1: # of times I saw my running partner get water from the dog bowl fountain.
1: # of times I said "I feel high!!" after taking my first gel ever.
6: # of miles I felt high and ran oddly faster after the gel.
6: # of miles running partner seemed confused with new post gel pace.
3: # of random sub 7 miles.
5+: # of people that gave me a shout out on the trail and I still can't recall their names. Err!
1: # of times it felt completely appropriate to put lots of ice cubes in my sports bra.
2: # of failed bunny hops over a gate in umstead.
4: # of times I profusely apologized for going the wrong way at mile 15ish up a STEEP hill just to turn around. 
2: # of laps around the parking lot for garmin to click 20.
1: # of turkey sandwiches I brought Brian for doing 20 with me at 6:30am BEFORE he worked 8 hours. See graphic above. Rock on friend!
1: # of grinding rim scratches I heard while parking against the curb in the breakdown lane to deliver said sandwich. 
6: # of days until my next long run. Woooohooo!

Awesome run! That ends a 67 mile week. 

Party on peeps. Thanks for reading!