Sunday, March 25, 2012

If you put your hand over half my stomach I look better.

Another freaking awesome week of training. My tempo and long run surprised me both mentally and physically. And I have CAR ABS!! Well sorta...

My week:
Monday: 8 miles at 7:27 pace
Tuesday: 8 miles at 7:22 pace
Wednesday: Tempo. 3 warm up, 3 @ 6:35 pace and 3 cool down.
Thursday: 9 miles at 7:27 pace
Friday: 8 miles at 7:21 pace
Saturday: 7 miles at 7:31 pace
Sunday: 20 miles. 15 easy and 5 descending. Avg 7:22 pace.
             Last 5 miles 6:40-6:50
Total 69 miles

5 weeks until The Eugene Marathon!!

Notes of interest probably only interesting to me but hey, I reference this blog too:

*I can run 3 miles of continuous tempo off a short warm up. I like 5-6 mile warm ups. But I did it!
*For the 20 miler I CAN go slower for 15miles and still pick it up. Normally I run long runs too fast.
*All these runs were in rain and or 100% humidity. I couldn't do that 2 months ago. Woot!

So on the abs front. I am planking myself till my arms shake. Trying to step it up. I mean it's been what 15 months if you've been following. lol. I still refuse to cut carbs.

this looked badass on my phone but now it just looks like an oblique fest. lol

And side plank abs!! Almost a 2 pack, errrr

So all and all a good week. Happy Running! 

oh ps ignore my HRM. It's broken...: )

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My long run and a race to the finish

My long runs are always a unique experience. During this marathon training I've done them in the sand, through the wind, pouring rain, freezing temps and now the complete darkness of yet another muddy trail. This by far was the most unnerving start of a 16 miler.

I ran at 6am so I could do my 16 and get to the finish line of the Tobacco Road Marathon/Half by the time the half finishers came though. It's a local race that most all of my friends were running. I never run in this part of town but logistically it was the best location if I wanted to catch the end of the race.

This is the best description of running out of an empty, unlit parking lot into the muddy woods:
Everything in the woods has eyes and with my supersonic head lamp I saw them all. Even the frogs on the trail had glowing eyes. So between that and slinging mud for 4 out of 16 miles I was not exactly relaxed. But I figured if I was gonna go out by a rabid squirrel I was gonna go out fast. So I cranked up my music and just ran. 
the mud was more spectacular going on. lol

I was running on part of the marathon course that I planned to evacuate before any racers arrived. I was successful for the most part but I forgot the water stops are set up an hour early. I cut it pretty close so it kinda sorta looked like I was the lead female, running alone and beating the boys..errr. But the volunteers have no idea so for 2 water stops I was fist pumped through with 75 cups of water held out. I apologized and yelled out that I was on my long run and not racing. A nice lady yelled out, who cares, you look great! That was sweet and a total lie. hehe
The run itself was:
2 mile warm up
2x10 min tempo 3 min recovery
9 easy
15 min tempo
1 mile cool down
I was looking for about 6:40-6:45 tempo pace. I did that ok and just ran what felt comfortable for the 9 miles. I noticed they were staying sub 7 for a while I felt good and went with it. There was about 500 feet of elevation so it probably was a result of the hills.

I also wore a heart rate monitor for the first time.  169 avg. Someone asked me to wear one on my long run. I'll google it.
So I finished 16 miles in 1:52. 7:02 average and hauled ass to the marathon finish in my car. Parked, took a bus and just missed the 90 minute mark of the half. errr.

I got to see all my friends after the half and then waited 2 hours shivering my ass off for the marathoners  to finish. Totally worth the wait to see my sister finish her first marathon and a ton of other friends rock out a marathon in really shitty conditions.
I had no idea I had headlamp forehead dent all morning. lol!
Tobacco Road finish


Another good running weekend!! Have a great week friends!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How to honk at a runner...

I may be preaching to the choir but I'm going to put out some road ediquette. I've done the last 17 miles on the side of the road and feel our public should be privy to some things.


As runners, we all appreciate a friendly little toot-toot when we're slogging away the miles on the sidewalk. However here are some do's and don'ts:

*honk 50 to 75 meters ahead of or behind the runner
*do a quick honk-honk
*always wave

*Lay on the horn directly beside the runner. This scares the shit out of us.
*Don't do a loooong honk. It's quite loud when you're outside of the car.
*Don't do a creepy short honk and stare. Wave or fist pump already!

Okay, I feel better after that short PSA.

State of the Union Address 6 weeks out:

So I am SIX weeks away from my first marathon. Big Ben/Parliament. lol. I feel like it's a good book and I don't want to know how how it ends. I LOVE training and I am getting a little bit sad that it will end soon. I already have taper nightmares. I may have lost my racing edge but I really don't care what I run in the race. I really just want to enjoy it. Maybe something will kick in but for now I'm chill.

My weekly run down:

Monday: 8 miles 7:11 pace. (57:34)
Tuesday: 8 miles 7:11 pace (57:35) haha total coincidence
Wednesday: 3 mile warm up @ 7:37 pace. then 8x5mins of tempo w/ 30 second recoveries. 11 miles total. The 30 sec. recoveries messed with me. I forgot what was recovery and what was go a few times. lol Pace with recoveries for 6.66 miles came to 6:38 avg. It felt easy.
Thursday: sucked. 8 @ 7:21 pace
Friday: All better. 9 at 7 :01 pace. Last 3 miles 6:43, 6:41, 6:22. Felt awesome.
Saturday: 6am start for an 8 miler on hills.7:47 pace. 719 feet of elevation. This is my long run eve run. EASY.
Sunday will be 16 with some faster stuff.
Total 68 miles

And yes, I have recovered from my Trail Half nightmare. Thanks for checking in. My night sweats involving tripping on moss are just about over. YAY for that!!

Happy running friends and Happy St. Patrick's Day!
LaBella! xoxo
I was a new bikini..abs?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I have been humbled by a trail half marathon

Let me just say I have some serious respect for people who can run single track, trails, roots/rocks, cliffs, 12 foot wide mud puddles and the like. I had no idea how hard it is to run when every footstep is a challenge.

I love asphalt. I miss you.

So I decided to run the Roanoke Canal Half Marathon today. It's a trail race. But the website said it wasn't a bad trail. (I beg to differ!) But based on the what I thought would be an easy race I had a 2 goals:

1. To win it
2. to PR with a 1:27 (1:28:05 is my current pr)

Conditions: 35 degrees, some wind harder at times, deep mud at times from rain the day before.

Fail and fail. That was my worst race to date time wise, but probably the most effort I've had to put out in a race ever. Which is still shocking me because I felt great. I'm in good shape. I didn't have any handicaps to speak of.

Clearly, there is skill involved in running on a mud soaked trail that I do not possess. I can't explain how mentally difficult it is to STOP and decide the best way to get around a huge deep puddle or how the run down a 7 foot cliff and then back up??!! Seriously, you can't run off a cliff but you can dig your mittens into the wall of dirt to help you back out. That is NOT my type of running. I used my hands waaaay too much. Other people were bloody. WTF???
my brooks!!

Within the first 10 minutes of the race I knew a pr wasn't going to happen. By mile 5 I felt like I was risking injury and being stupid. By mile 8 I wanted to walk. By mile 12 I'm could have arguably been walking given my pace at that point.

I am still stunned at the difficulty or maybe just the lack of skill I have at running trails in general. I normally run mindlessly. This was constant stress. I mean what do you do when the sun is in your eyes and you can't see where you're stepping. I've never had this issue, ever! Asphalt is loyal and predictable.

So, I did my best and sucked it up and finished the race. I was truly never so happy to see a race end. I had a 7:45 split at one point. WTH??! All I did was say "fu*k" for 13.1 miles and hope for the best. Actually, not even. It was short per my garmin.

The GOOD part: I saw some friends and ran into one girl I see on the greenway everyday but have never talked to. Very cool. Awesome people and a nice post race scene.

Here's my garmin. My time was 1:33 and I was second female overall. 9th if you add the boys in. I won a cool pint glass and a bottle of wine.

It was an experience that I will always remember yet never repeat. I will stick to the roads and WIDE dirt paths.

Happy running friends!

Monday, March 5, 2012

All hail to the long run

This week I ran 75 miles:

Wednesday: 7 miles @ 7:27 pace and paced my daughter in a 2.9 mile leap year race
Thursday: 2 mile warm up, 40 mins tempo, 2 cool down. 11 miles
Saturday: 8 miles @ 7:26 pace in hard rain at 6:30am

I *think* I'm getting better at my long run. I tried so hard this week to nail it. My goal was 7:15 for 12 miles and then drop the hammer to maybe 6:45 pace for 6 miles. It was a good 18 miler but went more like this:

Mile 1: 7:07 um, not a good warm up mile.
Mile 2: 6:55 Awe jeez, I know where this is going.
Mile 3: 6:46 LaBella, cut the shit and cool it.
Mile 4: 7:06 Ok, I can do this. Getting closer to 7:15
Mile 5:j7:09 I'm doing it!!
Mile 6: 7:05 ok the new 7:15 is 7:05. ok?
MIle 7: 7:11 Maybe I can still bring this down...
Mile 8: 7:06 F that
Mile 9: 7:05 I like this pace
Mile 10: 7:07. I could do this shit all day.
Mile 11: 6:57. ok slow down so you can hammer it at mile 12
Mile 12: 7:05. Um, hammer time. Wake up...
MIle 13: 6:57 ok a soft mallet hammer..
Mile 14: 6:56 I take this negative stuff pretty seriously. lol
Mile 15 6:55 This marks my entrance into the WIND tunnel of hell 
Mile 16: 7:16 Total devastation. I felt fine but could not move into the headwind
Mile 17: 7:08 This took major effort
Mile 18: 7:25 F**k this. get me home!
AVG 7:04 pace

My goal at mile 15 was to get my average under 7 but that wasn't going to happen with these conditions. I kicked myself shortly after taking my glutamine, creatine and protein and gatorade. Another long run in the bank. 7 weeks until my first marathon!!!

So the newest advice I'm receiving is to get off my bosu ball and get on the floor. Because nothing else is working I am giving it a shot.

I'm getting stand up abs, kinda?

This was after a 6:30am 8 miler in torrential downpour.
It doesn't capture the 50 degree rain but trust me!

And one more random photo: Please tell me I'm not the only one that takes off their running sunglasses and gets excited at dried Boo-yahhh! Disgusting but proof of hard work!

Happy Running friends!
LaBella xoxo

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Did I say that out loud?

Some things will only be understood by runners. It's not a glamorous sport at times.

Mid tempo run situation:

Running partner Dan: gives a weird look.

Me: Ya, I had to lick the gel off my finger so when I go to wipe my snot later I don't get brown on my nose.

Dan: shrugs in agreement

Me: (thinking to myself) omg did I just do that and admit it??!

OH WELL! I provide entertainment I suppose. lol. But clearly, this is an issue we all face. Especially those like me who take 3 miles to down a gel.

I had another Cherry Chocolate Clif gel on my tempo today so I feel some random thoughts coming.

I have to give a shout out to my 7 year old daughter who stayed out late on a school night to run a Leap Year 2.9 mile race. Probably the only kid out there. I made sure she stayed away from the keg at awards time. Good job baby!

Ok, just one random...Have a good day friends!