October 2004 Archives

Stupid sidestitch

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I didn't have to try too hard to run slow today. My legs weren't sore from the 10K, but they were tired. But what really slowed me down was that I kept getting sidestitches. It was terrible! I chose to do my long run outside today as opposed to on the treadmill, because I thought I'd run more relaxed outside. I'm still getting used to the treadmill, and didn't want to deal with that today. The downside was running in the cold. I think that's what caused the sidestitches, actually. I think I wasn't breathing in as much, because my lungs aren't used to the cold, and that lead to the cramps. I stopped two times to try and stretch them out and it didn't help much. At least it kept me from running too hard!

41 degrees | felt like 38 | 5 MPH
8.07 miles
| 1:14:25 | 9:13/mi.

Monthly Report: October

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Running: 15:22:09 | 104.21 miles
Walking: 0:09:09 | 0.50 miles
President's Challenge points: 9904 | 144,201 total

Training Week: October 25 - 31, 2004

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Running: 4:01:08 | 27.29 miles
Walking: 0:04:28 | 0.25 miles
President's Challenge: 2648 points

Spirit Run 10K

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Race report posted here.


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If you'll take a look at the sidebar, you'll notice that I now have only ONE 10K PR ... that's right, I broke my 7.5 year old PR today!! 45:32 by my watch, 1st place 20-29F (I even got to stand on a podium). More later.

Early Morning Post

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First, thank you for the votes of confidence, Richard and Rebecca - I appreciate it!

I didn't get back for my update last night because the Engineer took me to a co-workers happy hour/party and we stayed a bit longer than I'd thought. I was still home in time to get a good night's sleep, though.

The weather forecast is sucky right now. There's a 30% chance of rain (we had a huge thunderstorm last night, so I won't be surprised if we get more rain), and it's in the 40s. However, the windchill is in the 30s and there is a wind advisory. You all know how I feel about wind - they are warning of gusts up to 45 MPH!! Not exactly ideal race conditions ... hopefully WC is wrong, or it'll calm down before the race as there are large sections of the course that are out in the open. We'll see.

So, update on the running for the past 2 weeks. I got this idea awhile ago (maybe from Richard?) that I should probably run a little slower than I have been. Just because I can run a certain pace doesn't mean I should do it every day. I also thought maybe that would help solve whatever was going on with my hamstring.

Tuesday, 10/19: It was in the mid 40s, but not really windy. I ran my normal 3 mile route, and the slower pace felt pretty easy and relaxing.
3.03 miles | 27:49 | 9:11/mi

Wednesday, 10/20: This run became a tempo run (not planned). See, it was a really nice day (for MN). It was in the upper 50s, almost 60 degrees, so I went out in shorts and a t-shirt and it felt great. I started off nice and slow, but then as I went to turn onto a different street I saw a girl coming down the street wearing a long sleeve shirt and an earband. This might be wrong, but I decided that there was no way I was going to let someone wearing a long sleeve shirt and an earband in this warm weather pass me or run near me. So I picked up my pace to put distance between us and then decided to keep it up for awhile since I haven't been doing any speedwork lately. I kept it up for 2 miles, and then ran my last 1.5 miles easy.

5.09 miles | 43:07 | 8:28/mi.

Thursday, 10/21: I called the treadmill people while at work, and found out that my treadmill was in. I arranged for it to be delivered after work, which meant that I could test it out that day. (I don't like to wait very long after work before running because I get too hungry). The bad thing about that plan was that the Engineer was home by then, and we both were working out at the same time. Our basement smelled like a gym; I now have an added incentive to work out immediately after work. Anyway, the treadmill was kind of hard, which I later solved by adjusting the belt. (The True has an adjustable belt, where you can adjust the firmness on a scale of 1-12). I also found that I need to convert MPH to min/mile because I couldn't tell my pace.
treadmill @ 1% incline | 3 miles | 27:18 | 9:06/mi.
walk CD | 0.25 miles | 4:41

Friday, 10/22: Ugly day in Minnesota. I got out of work 2 hours early, which was good because I was driving down to Illinois. That extra 2 hours meant that I only had an hour of driving in the dark, which was good because I have shitty night vision.

Saturday, 10/23: I slept in, because the bed at my parents' house is so comfortable. When I finally woke up, it was raining but I got dressed to run anyway. My watch took forever to link up, and I didn't really enjoy standing around in the rain. Luckily, it was in the low 60s, so it felt a lot better than my last rainy run. I discovered that the development next to theirs connects to an older neighborhood so I did some exploring. It was a nice run, although I did get totally soaked during the last 2 miles when the rain picked up. I forgot to stretch after running (oops!) because I was in a hurry to get out of my wet clothes.
5.29 miles | 46:49 | 8:51/mi.

Sunday, 10/24: Not a whole lot to say about my long run for the week. I ran some of the same route from Saturday, but added another area. It was a pretty nice day (60s and sunny). I did have an incident towards the end of my run where I ended up yelling at a neighbor's dog. There's a water retention pond behind my parents' street and the association paved a path around it and put up some exercise stations. I needed to make up some distance, so I decided to go run around the pond. Well, some peoples' dogs were out in their backyard (their yards butt up to the path) and one of them was between the path and the water (ie, not in its yard). It started barking at me as I approached so I stopped. It came towards me, still barking at me so I told it to go away. It kept barking, so I stood on this bench because I don't trust yippy stupid dogs not to bite me and I was hoping the owner would hear it barking and me yelling at it (at least twice) and would come get it. I had tried backing away, but it would follow me and I was worried that if I started running it would either bite me or trip me. Finally, the owner heard the commotion and came out to get her dogs. Tons of people use that path, so I don't know why they let their dogs wander loose in the yard.
11.08 miles | 1:38:43 | 8:55/mi.

Monday, 10/25: Came home from work and ran on the treadmill. Adjusting the belt did help it feel better, but I still found it kind of hard to run inside. I think it's probably because it gets so hot?
treadmill @ 1% incline | 3 miles | 27:48 | 9:16/mi.

Tuesday, 10/26: I had been wearing the HR strap the previous two runs, but threw it off within the first mile. I need to call Polar to see if I can get a smaller transmitter. I know they make smaller straps, but the actual plastic part is too long for me. The instructions say to wear it 1-2� below the breasts, but I can't get good contact there. So I was having to put it right under, which is really uncomfortable because it pinches, and I still wasn't getting good results. I got annoyed with the pinching, so I took it off. I didn't particularly enjoy this run, as it felt harder even though I was running slower than paces I feel fine outside.
treadmill | 6 miles | 55:52 | 9:19/mi.

Wednesday: Rest day.

Thursday: Short little run, nothing really interesting. Oh, I stopped using the incline to see if that helped make it feel less hard but I haven't been noticing much difference. I guess I just have to get re-acclimated to treadmilling.
treadmill | 3 miles | 27:39 | 9:13/mi.

Friday: Rest day.

So that's the update. While posting, the temperature has dropped 2 degrees, and the windchill is now in the low 30s. That kind of sucks because I have no idea where my tights are, and I'm questioning whether shorts are going to be a good idea. The wind advisory is still there, and hasn't changed. However, now that the sun is up I think the rain will at least stay away. Back in a few hours.

Briefly resurfacing

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How have I let so much time go without posting? Thanks for the comments on my last posts, you guys. I think my sporadic posting has driven off a lot of people, so I really appreciate your sticking with me. Sometime tonight, I need to post a real update (I need to leave for work soon, so this is going to be short) and respond to some others' posts from last weekend/this week. I've become such an online slacker lately.

My treadmill arrived last week. Of course, the weather got nicer last week because I'd bought one. One of my co-workers thinks I should also buy a snow thrower, because that will guarantee a mild winter. I wouldn't mind that at all! Especially since I already am driving to work in the pitch black. But anyway. I left the cold and drizzle of MN for the slightly warmer weather of IL last weekend. I hadn't been home in 3 months and was overdue for a visit. It was good to see my family again. I also managed to get out the door to run both days; I got soaked in the rain on Saturday, but at least it was warm rain unlike the last time I ran in rain here.

I'm still working on coming up with a plan for my running. My race season ends next weekend, with the 5 mile prediction run. After that, there really aren't any local races until April. (Gee, wonder why there aren't any winter races). I've been following Higdon's Intermediate-II schedule with the hopes of running a Feb. marathon. I don't know if I'll actually be able to do that, as airfare is a bit expensive. But assuming I am able to run it, I'm also looking at running a half-marathon in March, the 20K in April, and half-marathon in May (actually the Med-City marathon relay with a co-worker). During the summer, I'll probably run some 5Ks and the 4 mile women's race again. Next fall, I want to run the local half-marathon in August, and I think Chicago for my fall marathon. Assuming it doesn't happen in February, the fall will see my big push for a BQ. One of the frustrating things for me about this year is that I know I have a sub-3:40 in me, I just couldn't get things to come together in time. Next year, I want to make that happen.

Anyway, I'll be back later today to talk about the actual running I did over the last week and a half and tomorrow's 10K. Time for work!

Training Week: October 11 - 17, 2004

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Running: 3:38:30 | 24.17 miles
President's Challenge: 2284 points | 138963 total points

That's better!

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Much, much better conditions today! It was actually warm enough that I didn't wear my gloves for most of the run. I would've taken off my jacket, but I was partly afraid I'd get cold again but mostly because it's such a pain to remove/add my jacket while wearing the Forerunner. I almost stretched out the run to 10 miles, but my right hip started getting sore around 7.5 miles. I ran up a steep hill towards the end of the 8th mile, which I think helped aggravate it. So I decided it would be better to end at 9, which was still more than I had planned.

35 degrees | felt like 31 degrees | 5 MPH

1 | 9:03
2 | 9:04 | 18:08
3 | 9:04 | 27:12
4 | 9:00 | 36:13
5 | 8:56 | 45:09
6 | 9:05 | 54:14
7 | 9:02 | 63:17
8 | 9:06 | 72:24
9 | 8:51 | 81:15
9.04 miles | 1:21:36 | 9:02/mi.

Motivation Issues

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The weather this week kind of zapped my motivation. The cold and rain from Wednesday continued on through Friday. Thursday it was pretty ugly all day, and I decided to put off my 3 mile run until Friday so that I could go out after work with 2 of my co-workers. Going and playing trivia and chatting was a lot more fun that running in the rain would've been! Friday was another ugly day, and I think it was a little colder. We had fire extinguisher safety training, which required us to go outside so they could light stuff on fire for us to put out. It was drizzling during this, which kind of sucked. I was glad I'd stopped by the coat closet to trade my lab coat for my jacket and gloves. As I drove home, it started raining more. And you know what? I decided that even though it was only 3 miles, I really didn't want to run in the pouring rain while it was 30-something degrees. So I came home and played the Sims 2. (Jon, I never tried Unleashed, but I heard it made things more complicated and the strays were annoying. Sims 2 is more complicated than Sims 1, since the sims now have wants and fears for you to fulfill/avoid, but I'm so far having fun with it).

And then yesterday. Oh did it suck. It was in the upper 30s, but the 23 MPH wind (gusting up to 37 MPH) made it feel like the mid 20s. UGH! It was one of the worst runs I've had in awhile. When I wasn't dealing with the wind, the temperature wasn't that bad and I'd get kind of warm. But then running into the wind, which was the majority of my run .... it was just terrible. There were points where I seriously doubted I was moving forward. I hated pretty much every second I was out running, and I realized I don't want to deal with winter this year. Last year, I talked a good story about how running in the cold/wind/crap made me stronger and lalalla. Yesterday, I didn't feel tough, I just felt tired and crappy. My legs were so beat up by the wind, I felt like I had run 2 or 3 times as far. So yeah, while I do think it's cool to look at my log from last winter and see all the crap I ran in, I don't feel the need to prove that I'm hardcore anymore. Once I got inside and the Engineer helped me take off my shoes (my hands, despite wearing gloves, had frozen stiff from running into the wind), one of the first things I said was "That's it. We're going to look at treadmills." I then told him how terrible my run had been, and proceeded to be a big whiner for awhile.

Later that afternoon, we went out to the 2 stores that sell nicer treadmills. We looked at some Landice, and I think this display is one of the coolest I've seen. You can chase a runner on the road, run around a track, or scale the Statue of Liberty. However, that display adds a lot to the price, and the water bottle holder is kind of non-existent. At the other store, we looked at Pace Master and True. The sales guy there was really knowledgeable, and gave us space to play with the treadmills and talk things over. We decided to go with the True 540HRC which I think will work for me. If not, we can return it within 15 days for a 100% refund and get a different one. I think being able to work out downstairs while watching TV or listening to music (yay!) will help get me out of this fall funk I seem to be in. And assuming I can handle doing my long runs on it, it greatly increases the chances of me being able to run a February marathon. Now I just have to wait until it comes in, which will hopefully be this Wednesday. Yay indoor running!!

37 degrees | felt like 26 degrees | 23 MPH gusting to 37 MPH

1 | 9:06
2 | 9:02 | 18:08
3 | 9:23 | 27:32
4 | 9:11 | 36:44
5 | 9:28 | 46:!2
6 | 9:06 | 55:19

6.10 miles | 56:04 | 9:12/mi.


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Accidentally let another week go by without an update. I've had stuff to post about, but I've become addicted to the Sims 2 and have forgotten to post. (That game is a giant time suck!)

Last week, I made the decision to take some time off. I thought that having a few days off would maybe help resolve whatever's going on with my left hamstring. I originally planned on cross-training, but then decided to just totally rest. I took 5 days off, and I kind of enjoyed the physical and mental break. I got back out on the road on Saturday, and my leg did feel slightly better. I should still get that massage sometime, though.

The weather here has been crazy. Last week, there was a day where it was 32 degrees when I left for work. The next day, it was 80 when I got off of work. I don't think there should be that much fluctuation in the temperatures! It was pretty nice over the weekend, but it's gotten cold again this week. I just looked at the forecast, and it should be in the low 30s when I get up tomorrow. Anyone want to place bets on when I'll get my first snow? I'm hoping that will hold off for awhile. Today, it rained. I have to tell you, running in the 40 degree rain SUCKED. I was so miserable out there, because it was also windy. My hands were so cold, and I had a real rough time removing my shoes once I got home.

We plan on buying a treadmill so I can run indoors this winter, and after today I want to move that up some. I'd much rather have stayed indoors today then dealt with the wind and rain. I'm not really looking forward to a winter of treadmill-running, though. It's still dark when I get up in the morning, and in about a month, it'll be dark when I leave work. I don't think running in the dark is very safe under normal conditions; when there is snow and ice on the ground, it's down right dangerous. So while I can't say I'll be sad to not run outdoors when it's below zero, my main reason is my safety. But it's going to be so boring!

Want to hear something annoying? I verbally accepted my job on 9/17, and formally accepted it on 9/20. I assumed I'd get my benefits information on my official start day (9/27), but the HR rep told me we'd meet the following week to go over everything. I had to hound her to set up a time, and she finally said we'd go over it on the 8th. (Everything can be made retroactive to 10/1, which is somewhat why she was in no hurry. I, however, wanted my deductions to start coming out of my paychecks ASAP). Now, I'm not signing up for the health benefits (I'm covered by the Engineer's much better plan) and was only waiting for the 401K information. I had to sit through 45 minutes of her talking about how great the medical stuff is before she got to the stuff I care about. BUT! She not only doesn't have the 401K books, but she doesn't have the enrollment forms. And while there is information available online, you can only access it with the PIN assigned to you once you enroll. WTF? Don't you think she'd have ordered that information before I started? Or at least once I started? I'm still waiting on that information, as well as how many vacation days I get this year. Despite her telling me during my salary negotiation that I get vacation days (she looked it up and saw that I'm eligible for pro-rated vacation), she tried to tell us during the benefits meeting that we don't get any this year. I reminded her of what she'd told me before, and she said she'd have to get back to me on that. I hate dealing with HR.

I am far behind in my reading/replying, but congratulations to all the RBF members that raced this weekend!

Here's the story ...

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of a wayward blogger .... (the Brady Bunch theme song is stuck in my head today). But here's more of an update than I've been posting lately.

Things are going fairly well in my non-running life. As some of you may recall, I've been temping at a company here in town since July. It was supposed to be a 6 month contract, with the possibility of being hired. Well, the company decided to exercise that option and made an offer to me a few weeks ago. While I feel that they low-balled me on salary (and wouldn't budge at all), I did accept the offer because I do enjoy my job and my co-workers, besides a full-time job is way better than a temporary one. This was my first full week as a real employee.

As far as running ... that's more eh. I'm not concerned about having only run 4 days/week the past 3 weeks, because I needed the extra rest the first 2 weeks. Last week, I was just happy that it wasn't only 3 days. I had taken Monday as a rest day; I thought about running as it was a really nice day, but took it off as I needed it after the weekend. Tuesday, I planned to be off as we had to pick up my car from a service appointment and I had an hair appointment. I got 3, maybe 4, inches cut off and I am so happy to have less of a ponytail. Wednesday I ran, and it was okay, aside from being hot. Thursday was a really crappy day, weather-wise. I drove a co-worker home and then decided to go to the library instead of running. It had cleared up some, but I just didn't feel like running. I usually take Fridays off, but decided to run to make up for the day before. The only problem was that I was really hungry when I got home from work. So I ate a piece of bread before running, which I think caused me to cramp up towards the end. My long run went pretty well, and I explored a different area, which is always nice. Sunday's run went okay, except that I was pretty stiff the first mile and couldn't get my shoe tied right.

Overall, that sounds like an okay week, so what's been eh? you might be wondering. I'm not totally sure. I've got something weird going on with my left hamstring. It's not exactly pain, and it's not exactly soreness. But it feels different from my right leg, almost all the time (even when not running). And it was so stiff last Sunday, that I am sure I looked goofy running down the street. But aside from that, it doesn't really interfere with my running. I don't know what the deal is. I think I'm going to try to get a sports massage this week, and maybe that will help. The last track club newsletter recommends massages every 100 miles, so I think I'm overdue.

One thing I do know that has been bothering me is that today was the Twin Cities Marathon. I was registered because back in May I planned on running it. My injury from Med-City changed that plan, and I haven't really been okay with that. It's hard because I had such high plans for the marathon today; I had hoped it would be my BQ. So to not be able to even run it has been kind of sad. I had been waffling a lot over the last couple weeks about my plans for this weekend. I kept thinking about going and doing my long run with the marathon (dropping out around the half-point or whenever I got tired). I was planning on going up to the expo regardless of my Sunday plans, I figured I might as well pick up my packet/goody bag and see if there were any good deals on clothes. However, I was pretty tired yesterday and the Engineer was sick so I didn't feel like driving 90 minutes on the off chance there would be good deals. It was probably better to not go, as I think it might have made me more sad about not running the marathon. Oh well ... time to move on, right?

So onto this week, which saw some winter-like weather move into Minnesota. I leave for work around 6:50 AM (gotta love living <5 miles from work!), and basically every day this week it was in either the 30s or 40s. I found out that my car beeps at me when the temperature reaches/drops below 37 degrees. I was glad that I was running after work, as the temperatures reached the 60s by then. We did have more torrential downpours on Friday, which kind of sucked. But it's better than snow, which they've predicted we'll get before Halloween. Isn't that crazy? I need to hurry up on ordering snow tires/wheels, so that my car doesn't get stuck or whatever bad thing happens to rear wheel drive cars in the winter.

Monday: inactive rest. Aside from being a normal off day, I thought it would be a good idea as my legs were stiff the day before.

Tuesday: 63 degrees | 10 MPH

1 | 8:31
2 | 8:40 | 17:12
3 | 8:35 | 25:48
3.03 miles | 26:02 | 8:36/mi.

Nothing too special to note about this run. Felt okay; took the new shoes out for the 3rd time. I did go and run up the steeper hill near the house, which was during the second mile.

Wednesday: 67 degrees | 7 MPH

1 | 8:41
2 | 8:56 | 17:38
3 | 8:56 | 26:35
4 | 9:03 | 35:38
5 | 8:45 | 44:23
5.06 miles | 44:52 | 8:52/mi.

Despite it being really cold when I left for work, it was warm when I went running. I got a weird side stitch on my left side during the middle. Long time readers might remember that I was getting a lot of stitches back in February (or March?) and I figured out it was from not breathing enough. I think that's what was going on here. I've tried really hard to count my breathing, but I think I'm just not smart enough to figure it out or something.

Thursday: 68 degrees | 14 MPH

1 | 8:57
2 | 8:44 | 17:41
3 | 8:54 | 26:35
3.05 miles | 27:00 | 8:52/mi.

Another cold day that turned into a warm one. I felt a little sluggish, though.

Friday: inactive rest. I was glad this was an off day, as it rained all day.

Saturday: low 40s | felt like high 30s | 7-13 MPH

1 | 7:40
2 | 7:37 | 15:17
3 | 7:17 | 22:35
4 | 7:42 | 30:17
5 | 7:35 | 37:52

5.02 miles | 37:59 | 7:34/mi.

This was a tempo/pace run. I was not happy about the lowered temperatures - I had to break out the tights! I actually think I could've gotten away with shorts, had I not had to run into the wind. Running out with the wind was okay, but running into it (ie, the last half) sucked. I felt pretty crappy for the last two miles, and was really glad to stop at 5. I am looking at doing a 5 mile predict-your-time run next month, and I think I'll be deciding between using 37:30 or 38:00 as my guess (you have to round to the nearest 30).

Sunday: 54-64 degrees | 13 MPH

1 | 8:37
2 | 9:02 | 17:39
3 | 9:04 | 26:44
4 | 8:58 | 35:43
5 | 8:51 | 44:34
6 | 9:13 | 53:48
7 | 8:35 | 62:24
8 | 8:56 | 71:20
9 | 8:55 | 80:16
10 | 8:51 | 89:08
10.06 miles | 1:29:36 | 8:54/mi.

Bleeeeeeeeh. Nicer weather, so I got to wear shorts again. I went a slightly different route today, which took me by the golf course. I think something funky happened with my 6 and 7 miles splits. I don't think I ran 7 as fast as the watch said, and I didn't think I slowed down during 6 as much; the true splits are probably somewhere in between the two. I felt tired towards the end, and I think I was dehydrated. I had thought about doing more than 10, but again, was really glad to stop at that point. Hmm, that seems to be a trend.

I'm currently following one of Higdon's marathon training plans, with the tentative idea of running a February marathon. (Tentative as it's hard to predict how I'll be able to train over the winter or if I'll run into another injury). However, I think my legs are calling for a break. Today really re-enforced that for me, so I think I'll be doing some cross-training this week. I know from past experience that I should be able to jump right back into the schedule.

Running: 3:45:22 | 26.22 miles
President's Challenge: 2484 points | 135714 total