January 2008 Archives

Is all right here, along with a great elevation profile.

For the 50k, it's 8000 ft of elevation gain. Gulp.

The most I've done in a day is 4400, and I hurt my knee that day! I can do this. I know I can do this.

The good news is I found out that I can take an early start with the 50m folks, and the only time I have to worry about is the noon cutoff through mile 17, which I think will be totally doable for me. There's no cutoff at mile 25 (Hell's Gate), and since once you get there, you HAVE to finish, there's no cutoff for the finish. (There's really no way out of Hell's Gate - no crew allowed, due to limited parking, etc.)

I ran my longest lunch run yesterday - 4.3 miles. That felt great! Then I followed up with an hour in the gym - 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer and 30 minutes (longest yet) on the stairmaster - OMG that kicks my ass so bad. I did 78 stories, which is what, 780 ft of elevation gain? Pretty cool.

I was supposed to go to the gym again this morning, but after suffering through some intense leg cramps last night along with finally admitting that I'm sick with a cold, I decided I'd sleep in. I have a lunch run scheduled with Paki, which should be a good run - not too far, not too long. Then Wednesday is a rest day, Thursday is spinning (with a possible lunch run), Friday is lunch run, Saturday is a rest day and Sunday is 17 miles! Woo hoo!

Here's a graph of my weekly miles since I started keeping track (minus a big chunk of data that's in another program; hopefully I'll have that soon to fill in the blanks):
Weekly running

Also - it's a Valentine's Day Sale! 20% off anything with hearts in my shop. Just let me know what piece you want, and I'll adjust the price accordingly. This applies to any custom orders purchased before Valentine's Day as well!

So my friend Barb played hooky with me on Friday morning; we hit up the Phoneline Loop for her very first trail run. It was so quiet, and so few people were out and about! I'm used to weekend traffic out at Sabino.

She did great! Only about 5ish miles of the nine-mile loop is actually trail; the rest is the tram road. I wished I had brought my camera so we could document her first scratch, as well as her first fall (which was slightly scary, as she landed wrong on her ankle and it made a popping sound - but it was fine to run on after a few moments, and the only lingering affect was a little pain around her knee). She'll be heading out with me for a 17-miler next Sunday - and that one is ALL trail! Should be a blast. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the trails don't scare her off; she may do Zane Grey with me! (Which would be so much fun, because it's her big birthday in May, so she' d be joining Jess and me for making ZG our birthday run!)

I heard some honest but hard-to-take words this week from a person with whom I used to be very close. I've sort of been going through a grieving process. I haven't really talked about it much with anyone; I think I'm still sort of sorting it all out. It's been emotionally exhausting, but it's also been a good week for reflection. I think I'm going through an emotional growth spurt. It hurts, but I can feel the gains. I'll savor that for as long as it lasts :)

The Monday night following my Sunday long run, I ended up going out bowling to celebrate a friend's birthday. I could tell for the rest of the week that I had done one-sided lunges all night long! My left glute was SO sore.

With an absolutely giGANdo project at work with intense, hard-to-make deadlines (I keep calling it challenging, instead of impossible), I ended up missing two lunch runs last week. These runs are crucial; it's incredibly hard for me to get enough mileage in each week. I can't miss a single run! It's a carefully orchestrated schedule, fitting runs in around when I work and when I have Ash. I took the jogging stroller out yesterday (or should I say Barb took the jogging stroller out? She did all the pushing!) to do the 3 miles around Reid Park, so that was good. And Ash liked it, so hopefully, I can start doing that more often - get more running in while I have him!

I'm stressing about the training for sure, but as long as I keep going out every chance I get, I should be fine. That means even though I feel sluggish today (and it's raining), I still need to go out this afternoon and get 3-4 miles. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

(PS - I did it. Yay!)

Awhile back, I was contacted by a company to try out a new pair of headphones in exchange for a review. I'm always up for that!

It took me awhile to respond to the company, but finally, I got the AirDrives. I've been testing them out in the last month, comparing them to my current pair of headphones.

What sets the AirDrives apart from other headphones (straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak): "AirDrives are a safe headphone alternative for people with an active lifestyle. One of the main features
is the ability to hear your surroundings, while listening to your music. In short, the headphones rest
on the outside of your ear, as opposed to the standard in-ear headphone, thus minimizing harmful effects
to the eardrum." This also reduces the damage to your eardrum (which is nice - I swear I'm going deaf and I'm not even 30 yet!).

The headphones I use are earclips, soft, cushy, comfy things that aren't made to specifically block out sound, but they do cover my ears. They are nice and light.

I first time I used the AirDrives, I was running along the river path, a place I normally feel relatively safe - I don't have to listen for cars and such, so I wasn't sure the AirDrives were particularly needed, but I really wanted to try them anyway. I liked how easily I could attach them to my ears, and they stayed put, which was nice. The thing I wasn't (and still am not) sure about is the volume control on the wire from my iPod shuffle to the headphones. I needed to turn the iPod way up, and then adjust using the volume on the wire, which didn't give me much control - it's just an up/down function as opposed to the bit-by-bit volume adjustment I get on the iPod (Okay, so that isn't very eloquent! I hope you get my drift...). The other odd thing is the place where wires coming from each headphone join together was pretty close to my chin. But I didn't mind too much.

I took off for my run and realized it was really really windy. The wind just whooshed right by my ear, drowning out the music. I was wishing I had my normal pair of headphones for two reasons: one, to block the wind so I could hear the music, and two, to keep my ears warm! I liked how nice and light the AirDrives were, and as long as I kept the volume up, I could still hear the music (although, with the noisy wind, I couldn't hear details in the music - I could tell each song and since I know them I could sing along, but it wasn't very clear). I could also still hear everything around me.

So I figured that probably wasn't the best test, what with all the wind. Plus I wanted to see if my headphones blocked out a lot of sound the AirDrives let in (I'm thinking particularly about cars, although also on my trailruns, I like to hear what's going on around me).

So I took the AirDrives out a few more times, alternating between them and my earclips. I found I liked the fit, even with it being somewhat snug (or more snug than my other headphones) under my chin. They were *very* comfy. And being able to hear what was going on around me was nice (exception: wind) - I definitely felt safer (and enjoyed hearing the water flowing when I was at Sabino). But I found a number of times that I missed my earclips, simply because they provided more coverage, and therefore, more warmth, for my ears! I'm thinking my earclips are good for winter, and the AirDrives will be my summer headphones :)

Beat up (in a good way)


Sunrise at South Mountain

I was in Tempe this weekend for a soccer tournament (I was cheering Chris's team on; I wasn't playing!) and needed to get my long run in. I asked Phoenician bloggers where I should run, and Pat told me about South Mountain. Now, I've heard of South Mtn before - some trail runners in the past have put on a 50k, since there's a trail that traverses the entire 15-mile length of the mountain (more like hill) range. I was excited to learn it was less than 2 miles from our hotel.

Saturday involved two soccer games, a trip to IKEA, hot tubbing and scrumptious dinner at a friend's house. It also involved falling in the slippery shower, causing an incredibly painful bruise on my left shin.

Sunday morning I was up early in order to get in my 16 miles before the first soccer game. I didn't want to run in the dark, so I timed it to start at 7 am. I had difficulty finding the trailhead, and didn't get started till 7:30. I was worried about the timing, so I pushed it going up.

This was the coolest, funnest single-track I've run since before Bear Canyon's trail got washed out in the floods last summer. Up, down, around, rocks, smooth, playful. It was awesome.

When I reached seven miles, I realized I wouldn't have enough time to complete my run if I kept going, so I turned around early. On the way back I fought off a cramping right calf, a cramping left quad, wet backside from my camelback leaking the last few ounces out, and needing the pee every 30 minutes (at least I was well-hydrated!). I wanted to enjoy it so badly, but I was so beat up from going out fast to begin with! I had to walk the last .5 mile (good cool-down, right?). It was a lot of fun. It felt like a lot of elevation gain (after you gain the ridge, there are lots of ups and downs), and after I uploaded the info from my Garmin, I figured out it was 3300! Yay!

I showered up quickly and made it out to the soccer field only 5 minutes after the game started, and afterwards we all headed to a nearby bar&grill to watch the Patriots/Chargers game. We made it home after that with enough time to watch the last half of the Green Bay/Giants game before crashing way early (in bed at 8:30!).

I'm sore today and am taking a rest day. Hopefully I'll be out for a nice easy three miles tomorrow. I found out that my friend Barb who I've been running with a lot lately may sign up for Zane Grey!

Turnaround at South Mtn



So somehow my last post disappeared, but I didn't realize it till today. (Hmm, I thought to myself, I think I only got one comment on my last post. What's up with that? Yeah - it was gone.) It's back up now...

I spent tonight reviewing my training for the last few months and realizing, holy mother of running, I think I've really screwed it up good. I'll be very surprised if I make it through the next few months without getting injured. I had a good build-up last spring (2007) after gallbladder surgery and a knee injury the previous winter (that would have been 2006/2007). Then I encountered heart trouble, which put a stop to my running - literally. For the first time since I started actively running in 2005, I didn't run for over a month. That was August. Then in Sept, I started running again.

Here's how 2007 broke down:
Jan: 29
Feb: 40
March: 69
April: 41
May: 75
June: 74
July: 18
Aug: 0
Sept: 25 (longest run: 8 miles; no cross-training)
Oct: 51.5 (longest run: 15.4 miles; no cross-training)
Nov: 30.8 (longest run: 9 miles; approx 4 hours cross-training)
Dec: 32.1 (longest run: 11 miles; approx 4 hours cross-training)
mid-Jan: 42.1 already (longest run to date: 14 miles...16 scheduled for this weekend; approx 4 hours cross-training to date)

That's per MONTH, people. Not per week. And I think I'm going to be ready for a super-tough, hilly 50k by April? Am I freaking nuts?

And the giNORmous jump in training in the first two weeks of January - that's just beggingfor trouble. And the plan calls for me to just build on top of that training - keep going harder, farther, bigger, more.

I'm so going to crash and burn. But do you think that's going to stop me? No freakin' way. If I don't ramp up my mileage, my cross-training, if I don't go out and do my long runs (even though I don't have the sort of base I want), then there's no WAY I'm going to be able to do ZG. I have to do this. Or else give up already.

So I'm taking the chance. I'm risking it. I'm doing my damndest to take care of myself while I do this - I'm stretching, I'm fueling, I'm keeping the pace slow (although it's nice that I'm getting in shape and can handle a 10:30 pace cardiovascularly, it sucks that as soon as I go sub-11, it hurts behind my right knee).

A word on cross-training: I have to cross-train, since my hours for working out are so limited and I refuse to run alone in the dark in the mornings. So I go to the gym. Mostly it involves spinning or the elliptical machine, but this morning I discovered the stairclimber. Hoo boy! That thing made me sweat more than anything else I've tried at the gym. I need opinions, though - what's the best cross-training I could be doing in preparation for ZG??? I'm also doing some weights - hip ad/abductors, abs, quads.

Go on, take bets. Will I crash and burn? Will I do it without injury? Am I crazy? Am I overreacting?

Getting in Shape


This just in: training pays off!

Geez, whadd'ya know. You put time and effort in, and you get results!

I took one rest day after my 14-miler last Sunday. I was back out for a 3.1 mile run on Tuesday morning with Barb. That's unusual for me - I generally end up taking off more than one day after a long run, 'cause I push too hard and then take too long to recover (that or I'm just lazy...). I followed that up with 3.6 on Wednesday at lunch (literallly ran home to pick up some electrolyte packets; I love that I live so close to work). Thursday afternoon was a perfect day to have off - I headed to Sabino Canyon for a glorious (albeit wet, from the multiple creek crossings) 7.5 mile hilly run, which I then followed up with a kick-ass spinning class. That was a first for me: run-immediately-followed-by-cycling workout. That was pretty cool. The best part? I totally fueled correctly and was able to power through the entire 2.5 hours of working out with ease. And the next day, I was hardly sore! Amazing.

This morning, I headed to the gym. The spinning class was full by the time I arrived, so I headed upstairs to the elliptical machines (two of the three stair climbers - what I wanted to do - were broken and the other one was in contant use). 30 minutes of elliptical followed by 15 minutes of recumbant cycling was plenty for me. My hamstring was cramping and I was tired (I didn't have my morning coffee!). I headed to the weights and lifted a bit before leaving. Ash and I hit up the very cool "coffee bus" on the way home (it's a double-decker bus converted to a coffee shop; the seating is upstairs!), and now we're hanging out while I finish laundry and dishes and cleaning the house. Games and football are on tap for the afternoon, along with a possible trip to the park. Tomorrow is more general hanging out, then after he goes his dad's, I'll head out for my last three to four miles for the week.

It's been a good, solid week. I can feel my training starting to pay off, my body starting to get in shape and be able to handle what I'm throwing at it. This bodes well for the next three months while I prep for ZG. Yay!

(Now if only I could stop eating everything in sight...)

Sunday Morning Long Run


****UPDATED at the bottom****

I'm waiting for my friend Barb to arrive so we can head out the door for 14 (!) miles this morning. Here's some pre-run musings:

I've ramped up my mileage pretty quickly (at least my long runs) and am a little worried about how my body will respond. However, after today, my schedule will go back to normal (that is to say, I'll get Ash every other weekend, which means I'll get a long run every other weekend). So I won't be doing long runs every weekend. It'll give my body more time to recover (I don't think I'm quite fully recovered from last week's run). Turns out, no wonder I was so sore after last week's long run (I could barely walk for two days!): I did over 3600 vt ft of elevation gain! I've done that maybe 4 or 5 times - EVER. Which is why it's going to be a challenge for me to do Zane Grey, which is HUGE on the hills.

If anyone is planning on going to Zane Grey this year, please let me know ASAP - the race director has sent an e-mail regarding reservations in cabins at race headquarters, and if I don't want to be stuck in the dormitory (which I really don't want), I need a group of folks to reserve a cabin. I'm trying to get a bunch of people together to do so. Let me know!

When I am done with this morning's run, I will update this post with the results...

We did 14 great miles. I'm sore; it was tough at the end. After wandering all over Sabino (instead of just heading up and back twice on the road; it was storming in the mountains and I was worried we'd get stuck on the road if the water rose too high - I got to introduce Barb to new territory at Sabino!) and arriving at our car with 13.8 miles, Barb said, "Angie! If you don't get a full 14 miles, you'll be regretting it all day," and I knew she was right. Great motivation to keep me going to get the full 14. It was such an awesome run. Low-stress, lesser elevation gain/loss than last week, fantastic conversation. It didn't feel like we were out there for a few hours, it passed by so fast. I've had a smile on my face for the rest of the afternoon - it was a very satisfying run, a run that left me feeling content to my bones.

I get to take the next weekend off (I have Ash, so no long run), and the weekend following that, I'll be in Tempe cheering Chris on at a soccer tournament. The fantastic Phoenix run-bloggers have hooked me up with great suggestions and directions on where to run my scheduled 16-miler, and I'm totally psyched about it. At the end of the month is a scheduled 18-miler - I'll do a double-Phoneline. Barb has expressed interest in that (in trail running in general - she might go get some trail shoes and might do Zane Grey!), as has Renee, so it sounds like it might be a fun group run!

I need to do more mid-week runs. And more cross-training. The spinning has been good. I just need to do more! And yoga's fallen off; I need to add that back. I was contemplating some Pilates...we'll see how it all goes.

Chris and I have decided (apart from the New Year; this is not a resolution) we need to eat healthier and also eat at home more often (we ate generally every meal out). We've been saying it for a couple months, but now we're actually DOING it. We started the day after Christmas, and so far, so good. It's hard; we eat so vastly different from each other: I'm all about the low-fat and fat-free sugar goods or casseroles dripping in gravy-type sauces, and he's all healthy (he likes fish and he'll choose an apple over a fat-free chocolate cake - what's up with that?! (yes, that was facetious)). I'm picky - I don't eat many fruits or veggies. He's choosy and wants quality items (i.e. no gravy or casseroles). We've found a few things that we'll both eat: my tofu-and-veggie stir-fry, his blueberry pancakes and salmon spaghetti (yes, I ate fish!). I made a good basil-walnut pesto linguini last night that we both enjoyed. I'm spending a lot of time on allrecipes.com :) If y'all know of other good recipe sites, let me know!


angie's essence...as explored by trail running (and mixed-media art)


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This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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