Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

Saturday I did a very light two mile run with Dr. Z. roaddogging. I practiced my kick by taking it up from 8:40 to 8:00 in the last mile. I was NOT happy with the humidity and prayed it would go down before Sunday's race.

Unfortunately not only was it humid enough to make sleeping less than ideal, the humidity increased Sunday morning, with gray overcast skies and not a single breeze. I bumped into the IronFamily, with IronDad doing the 10K and IronKid and EltonJohn doing the 5K with me.

I hit the first mile at 7:20, perfectly on pace for a PR. There was some guy breathing down my neck but I did my best to ignore him and just do my own thing. He passed me at the turnaround, but I passed him again shortly after and by the two-mile mark he was far, far behind me. (Basically he exhausted himself trying to catch me.) I can't remember my mile two split, but it was basically still on track. Unfortunately I had to rachet back at that point because I was starting to get a stitch from working so hard to breathe in the soupy air. I got confused at one fork that wasn't marked and had to ask a runner which way, but made up the time with a short sprint.

I came through at 23:47 and confirmed with Dr. Z that I was the second female runner in, beaten only by IronKid. (One thing I love about turnaround races is not only do you know how far you have left, you get a very good idea of your place in the race.)

I was very disappointed by my time, which should have been a minute shorter, but IronKid said her time was off by a minute as well, as was the lead guy's, who runs at the college level and can hit a 15-minute 5K. He actually said that he thought the course was more like 3.2 miles. (I later plugged 3.2 miles into my online log and it computed my pace at a more-accurate sounding 7:24. Yes, a tenth of a mile makes that big a difference.)

There was a long wait afterwards as not only did we have to wait for the 10-K runners to come in, they didn't use chips and had to tabulate everything manually. I used the time to do my cooldown jog and socialize while Dr. Z worked the finish line.

They finally started the door prizes. It was one of those "Everyone wins something" deals, so it took FOREVER. I one a book on the local canoe routes, which delighted Dr. Z to no end.

After long last, they STILL didn't have results, so they just did top female and top male for each event and said they'd mail out medals to everyone else who placed. I was very disappointed, as this is the second time I've placed overall and the second time I wasn't recognized officially. (The first time being the Dippykill Froggy Five, where I placed third but they didn't do awards.)

I'll be sure to post full stats once they're printed in the paper with field size. For the moment though, I was second overall and first in my age group. Yay!

For today, I did a two-mile recovery run, which went fairly well. I wasn't as sore as I feared. I also have Karate tonight.

Tomorrow is my long run. Maybe paddling as well, but looking at the weather I'm not holding out much hope.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not Much New

Not much new here. Went for a short easy paddle with Dr. Z last night. It felt good to get out after being stuck in the house working all day. We took it real casual, not even timing it.

Went for an easy four mile run this morning. Did it in 32:44 - an 8:11 pace. It felt pretty good. I should be in good shape for Sunday.

Anyway, some easy Karate tonight, a two-mile jog tomorrow, and it's time for my birthday 5K!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tapering Time

Well, I've been taking it easy since Monday's tempo run. I did an easy 6 miles on Tuesday in an attempt to temporarily reschedule my long runs to accomadate the next few weekends of races. I had to stop at around 5.75 miles. It sounds silly to stop that close the end, but my muscles were talking to me so I listened. I did manage an eight minute pace, so I was pretty pleased with that considering how tired my legs were.

Yesterday I did a light two-mile recovery run. I forgot my watch so I did it by feel - probably an 8:15 or so pace.

I skipped Karate though. I just needed a break from it. I looked around online and in the phone book yesterday and there aren't many options available, even in Plattsburgh. Very disappointing - you'd think there'd at least be one Tae Kwon Do dojang in Plattsburgh.

Today is completely off. I might go for a light paddle with Dr. Z but that would be the most I'd do. There's an extra kata class today, but I can't make it due to a meeting. Stupid work getting in the way of athletics.

Tomorrow is a light four mile run and Karate with Dr. Z.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Speed is Back!

Did eight miles on Saturday for my long run - Dr. Z definitely had the right idea with keeping it down from the usual ten - I was WIPED after! I didn't even go that fast - just an 8:40 pace.

Yesterday was my day off. In fact, it was cold and gray out so I alternated between watching television and cleaning my office. (Despite taking out two metric tons of crap, two hundred more metric tons of useless garbage remain. Damn clutter!) So, not very atheletic at all.

Today, however, rocked. I went for a tempo run and was feeling pretty good - no wind, dry air, and the temperature was in the high forties. I could feel I had gone out a little fast so I kept myself in check, but had enough for just a bit of a kick at the end. My time? A PR-busting, smashthrough 23:08. That's right - I finally broke 7:30, making a 7:27 pace. My previous best on that course was 23:28, so I was VERY happy. My one little thing I have to improve on is my pacing. It's come a long way, but I know I still ran positive splits. I could feel it.

Anyway, that made me decide to do the Stride for Pride on Sunday. It's a fast, flat course, it benefits disabled runners, and it's on my birthday. How can I NOT do it now that I know I'm recovered from the half-marathon? Of course, IronKid is going so my ass will be royally handed to me by a damn kid half my age. (Crazy kid is hoping to break 20:00. She needs help.)

Tonight, as always, is Karate.

Tomorrow will be six miles as a "long" run since I can't do my usual on Saturday, obviously. I'm also hoping to go for a paddle while I still can. Gotta keep those paddling muscles going as late into the season as I can for the 90-miler next year!

Friday, September 19, 2008

First Tempo Run in Forever

Karate on Wednesday night did end up being bunkai at first, but we did move on to kata. Not the best class, but not bad. Sensei had to leave early so that's why we moved on.

Yesterday I did my first tempo run in weeks and only the second one in a MONTH. (I stopped doing them in favor of longer, slower runs because of the half-marathon and the tendonitis in my hamstrings.) My time was 23:46, which would usually be a terrible time, but 5-10 seconds off my usual isn't too bad, especially with the sore legs. I'm pretty pleased with how little speed I've lost. A few more tempo runs and a little more healing and I should be back to a 7:30 pace. I'm still not sure if I'm doing the Stride for Pride though, especially with another 5K race the week after.

Just a two mile recovery run today. There's no Karate since Dr. Z is out of town, but I might do a review at home, especially with missing class on Monday and there being no extra Tuesday or Thursday class this week.

Tomorrow is an eight mile long slow run. (Shorter than the usual ten to allow my legs to heal.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I've taken the first half of the week very easy with trying to recover from the half-marathon. (Especially with the tendonitis in my hamstrings that just. won't. go. away.)

Monday I took off completely, not even going to Karate. I had had a second night of no sleep on Sunday and just was not up to it.

Yesterday I ran a very easy 5K in 25:47. Every time I felt myself speeding up I eased back down. My legs thanked me. I also went for a low-key lap around the lake with Dr. Z. We didn't even time ourselves - it was more about getting out there and stretching our arms. The season's over anyway.

Today I got a little more serious about getting my speed back. I ran 4 miles in 32:10. It's an 8:03 pace, but it's also the fastest I've run since the Olga 5K aside from one other tempo run.

I AM planning on going to Karate tonight. Hopefully we'll be doing kata. The legs are too sore for sparring and I'm getting tired of bunkai/self-defense.

Not sure about tomorrow - I'll probably run something (Have to ask Dr.Z) and I also have to go to Blue Line because my new shoes with only 200 miles on them already have outsoles that look like they have 600 miles on them. Between that and the blister they gave me in the beginning makes me most unimpressed with these shoes. Boo to you, Saucony!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Success at the Half-Marathon

So...the half-marathon. I was SO nervous beforehand, especially with the extremely humid weather, which I don't breathe well in regardless of temperature. Kudos to Dr. Z, who dealt with my pre-race snippishness and moodiness.

I saw several people I knew who were also running, including IronDad, TriBob, and BookstoreTri. (Okay people, I can only come up with so many nicknames in a town full of triathletes. So sue me.)

JewishMom showed up on her bike to wish me well and take pictures, which was awesome of her. I wasn't sure if she was going to show up or not.

We actually started on time. I lined myself up in the back, knowing I wouldn't be able to keep up with most of the crazy long-distance runners in L.P. I did start my stopwatch when I crossed the start line, which will become important later.

Right off the bat, we did a lap around the horse show parking lot. JewishMom snapped a picture and we were off. We crossed the street to head up John Brown's Farm - the nastiest hill on the course. Right at the bottom, the IronFamily was on the corner and they cheered when they saw me, which lifted my spirits.

I fell in with some guys for a while and we were doing a nice 8:40 pace. Dr. Z was on his bike and met me every mile telling me I was "on pace." (At this point I thought he meant under 9:00.) I used the downhill to River RD to gain some time and catch my breath, still feeling good.

I kept mile five at a good pace because it's a long, flat stretch of road that I tend to slow down on for some reason. Having a group to stay with definitely helped. I was happy to see that I wasn't getting passed because it meant I wasn't slowing down. Dr. Z showed up at every mile and finally told me that I was on an 8:40 pace but if I felt good stay with it.

I FINALLY got close to the turnaround and saw that IronDad was ahead of me. It surprised me because of his talk of how slow he is. It made me wonder what he must consider me then.

Around mile ten I really started flagging. It didn't surprise me - I knew the last 5K would be run on guts alone. I found out later that I lost a minute off my pace during miles eleven and twelve, most likely because not only was I tired but there was no one around to pull me along.

At the end of mile twelve, my stomach started seriously cramping. I ended up walking from the end of River Road to past the bridge. Dr. Z encouraged me to "make the hill your bitch," which I did. Unfortunately at the top I had to stop and dry-heave, getting passed by someone in my age group. I continued and made it back to the Horse Show Grounds. 100 freaking meters from the finish line I had to stop and retch again. I was SO annoyed. I ran through the finish with my arms up in victory, finishing in 1:55:59.

I was so, SO happy, especially since the IronFamily, JewishMom, Dr. Z, and BabySis were all there to greet me at the finish. It rocked, and the resulting endorphin crash later that evening was well worth the accomplishment. I could definitely see myself doing it again.

Final Results:

Time: 1:55:59. And this is where the stopwatch comes in. I foolishly did NOT stop it as I crossed, which sucks because for some reason the chip did NOT record the time I crossed the start, which took at LEAST 15 seconds. I know because the picture of me crossing the finish says 1:55:59. I thought the point of chips was to prevent mistakes like this? I'm assuming a true time of 1:55:44.


112 out of 249 total(Top 45%)
7 out of 21 in age group (Top 33.3%)
28 out of 106 women (Top 26.4%)

So not only did I beat my goal time by over four minutes, I placed VERY respectively in this town of hardcores for my first half ever.


To see the photos, check out

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Keeping it Light...Still

Nothing but a light 4-mile run at an 8:41 pace today. My hamstrings are still giving me problems so I'm going to do lots of stretching today and tomorrow.

My nerves are really starting to get to me. I think that's the problem with tapering - it gives you too much time and energy to angst over the upcoming race.

Anyway, nothing but two miles easy tomorrow along with a short kata review with Dr. Z. Well, that and the infamous pre-race carb feast. Yay for spaghetti and meatballs!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day Off

As usual, Wednesday is my day off so I'm taking it easy. I won't even be sparring tonight in Karate (if that's what we do) because of the upcoming race.

I did four miles at a very easy 8:45 pace yesterday, finishing in 34:58. On my way out, the IronFamily was getting out of their car. They waved to me and I doffed my cap (hee) at them.

I also went to the local sports shops looking for some red or blue running tights for the Halloween trail run I'm doing on 10/26. No luck yet, but I'm going to try again in Saranac Lake. (Their school teams wear red so they should at least have that color - they were out when I looked last weekend.)

Anyway, Karate tonight, keeping it low-key, and another four easy miles tomorrow. Hopefully my still-sore hamstrings will be better by Saturday!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Light Weekend

Didn't do much physically over the weekend, which was the plan. I'm watching the weather forecast for Saturday like a hawk. Not that I like to obsess over things I can't control or anything.

Yesterday Dr. Z and I watched the boats come in at the end of the 90-miler. I still can't believe we're going to be doing that next year. The couples in our future class (Stock Mixed) posted some sick times, so we probably won't place if the same caliber of people show up. They beat most of the mens' teams! It was a lot of fun though.

Afterwards I went for a six mile run, which I did at an easy 8:46 pace. It went much better than Thursday's run, which I'm happy about. Of course, that could be because I was going a lot slower. (I was doing an 8:15 pace on Thursday.) I was glad to get a second look at the section of the half-marathon course that I'm not familiar with. There's some nasty hills, but at least they're in the beginning.

I found out that BabySis is going to come to watch, which I'm psyched about. I didn't think any of the fam would be able to make it. She won't be there to see me off, but she should arrive in time to meet me at the finish line. I'm hoping JewishMom will make it to. God knows I'll need the cheerleader section.

Only doing two light miles today. Karate is iffy since I barely slept last night. (Hey, if I only have energy for one sport...well, the half-marathon is only five days away.)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Tough Run

Yesterday's run didn't go too well. I ended up only doing four miles instead of the planned six. My legs were just too damn sore and tired. On a positive note, I got to see part of the half-marathon course. It starts out with a hell of a climb, which sucks, but at least it's at the beginning when I'm still fresh. It should also help prevent me from going out too fast at first.

In light of how badly my legs hurt, Dr. Z decided to cancel Sunday's 8-mile run and just do a light four or so that day. Basically I'm going to spend the next week trying to get my legs to finally heal before the race.

Not much today - just a short 2 or 3 mile jog followed by some kata review in Karate tonight.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

All Karate All the Time

Yesterday was my rest day, so it was pretty quiet. I did have Karate class, where we did lots of bunkai and a little bit of kata review. There was another class this morning, when we went over a black belt kata I don't even need to know yet. It was pretty interesting since I've never done it before.

Anyway, six miles of running later today with Dr. Z road-dogging. Hopefully it will cool off a bit (or at least get a little less hazy).

Tomorrow? Very light run and yet more Karate.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Weekend Workouts

Friday was a light run just to stretch out the legs and went pretty well. Boy were my legs sore though! Friday night was supposed to be Karate but Dr. Z, who runs the Friday night class, wasn't feeling well so there was no class.

Saturday was a rest day, and I mean TRUE rest day. I spent the day up in Plattsburgh shopping and the only exercise I got was the Mall Shuffle.

Sunday was my long run - the last peak run before tapering for the half-marathon. I did eleven miles (the furthest I've ever ran) in 1:35:36, which translates to a blazing 8:42 pace. I am PSYCHED. As long as I pace well, I am in very good shape for finishing in not only under 2 hours, but maybe even in 1:54 or so. Yay!

Yesterday was a light three mile recovery run. It hurt, but it forced my legs to loosen up, which is good. Last night Dr. Z and I went for a canoe lap around Mirror Lake and blasted our previous PR by almost a MINUTE, coming in at 25:17.

Today I shaved 2 seconds off my previous time on my hilly 5K course, coming in at 23:28 despite still-tired legs. The long-distance running has REALLY helped my endurance at the shorter distances.

All in all, a great week for athletics - 2 PRs in running, a PR in paddling, and two stripes in Karate.