May 2005 Archives

post-Med City blues

(previously unpublished; draft not finished)

I read Warren's half marathon report last night, and a couple of the questions he's asking are things I feel like I could write right now. I especially related to:

"The race was a PB. Of course, it's my third half marathon, and all three now have been both PBs and disasters. I have yet to put together a half marathon that I'm happy with."
and
"I'm glad I ran, but I'm so disappointed in the race. I've had two big races this year, and both have been bitter disappointments. I know I have better in me. I just know it."

The Engineer and I were actually talking about the first one after the race yesterday. Aside from the 20K last year, I have not been able to put together a good long-distance race since my first marathon almost 4 years ago. Even when I've PR'd, the races have still been disappointments. That's really sad when you think about it:
2nd 1/2M (2002): Heavy legs, dehydration, Powerade-related cramp.
2nd M (2002): Leg problems from cold.
3rd M (2004): ITB issues rear their head for the first time mid-race.
4th M (2005): ITB issues in the second half.
2nd 20K (2005): Dehydration, muscle fatigue
3rd 1/2M (2005): Leg issues.

Yesterday as we watched the marathoners go by while I sat with ice on my (stupid) leg, I began to wonder how you know when it's time to throw in the towel. I've run 4 marathons, 3 1/2 marathons and 2 20Ks and of those 9 races, only 3 of them were good experiences. (Interestingly, they were the first time I'd attempted each distance - what does that say?). But maybe I'm not meant to race these distances, and that's why I have these breakdowns each time I try. Maybe I'm meant to be a shorter distance runner.

I don't want to believe that, though. Like Warren posted, I KNOW I have better in me. But I think I'm probably not going to attempt a fall marathon this year. I'd like to run one, but I don't think the timing is going to work out. I think I'm going to focus on the 1/2 marathon here in August. It's a pretty big race, and good runners from the Twin Cities come down to run it. I think I'll try to actually follow my training program, and run some shorter races along the way. I might go over the recommended distance for long runs (maybe do some 16s or an 18) so that a fall marathon could still be a possibility. But I'm not going to focus on training for one.

General Meh (Fun story inside!)

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I am such a slacker. I did finally post a short race report for the Spring Run 15K (link over in sidebar). I kept meaning to write it, much like I meant to blog, but it just didn't get done. I haven't filled out this week's section of my training log, but the last week's stuff is up there. (Again, link in sidebar).

I do have to share the story of my near death experience on the 18th. We've been having a lot of off-and-on rainstorms/thunderstorms lately. That Wednesday was a day where it had rained off and on, but it was clear by the time I headed out to the lake/river to run my repeats. It was a nice day for running, I thought. And aside from the interval where I hit stop instead of lap (argh!!), I was having a good day. I did briefly worry about the light situation before my 4th 1/2 mi interval, as the clouds were causing it to be less light, but I noticed that they had lamps along the bike path and I figured I was on my way back to the car and I'd be done soon.

As I started my 5th 1/2mi interval, it started to rain. It wasn't raining that badly, but I was glad to be on the way back. Almost exactly at the time I ended my interval (and exactly 1 mile away from my car), it started coming down in buckets. Within 1 or 2 minutes, I was completely soaked. I ended up taking off my shirt and running with it in my hands, because having it plastered to me wasn't much fun. At 1/2 mile to go, it started thundering AND lightning. Oh great! I'm running through giant puddles, underneath power lines, along a river. I picked up my pace because I was starting to get scared. The path does go under a road, and a bunch of people were hiding out there. After the underpass, the path goes alongside a road and I'm sure everyone driving by wondered what was up with the shirtless girl running around in a storm. I almost got run over by some stupid woman leaving the parking lot, but I finally reached my car without harm. Phew! Luckily, I was smart and had brought a pair of pants and another shirt to change into. It took 2 days (!) for my shoes to dry out, they were that wet.

That was about it for excitement. As my title says, I've otherwise been kind of meh. Running's been kind of meh, and work is really meh. (Meh = bleh). As usual, all the stuff I've thought about blogging has escaped my mind.

I finally decided to use some of my gmail addresses, since Yahoo sucks. I don't like webmail, unless I'm on someone else's computer. I had been using Yahoo Pops to get my Yahoo mail through Outlook, but it hasn't been working for awhile. Since gmail has free pop access, I decided to switch to them. Maybe now I'll actually see when a comment gets posted and can attempt to be better at replying.

I should now go write about yesterday's half marathon/relay before I inadvertently let another 2 weeks go by.

Minnesota Crazy

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This has been a pretty busy week for me, and the running kind of fell by the wayside. But it's okay - I just pretended it was a "taper" for my 15K this morning.

Minnesota weather is insane. Say you run 2 races, 1 month apart. At one, it's really hot, you get dehydrated and heat stroke was a risk. At the other, it's cold, wet and you worry about hypothermia. You'd probably assume that the earlier race was the hypothermia race, and the second race (heading into summer) was the heat stroke risk. WRONG! I find it so funny that the 20K (April) was in the 60s and sunny and my 15K was in the 40s with rain. Seems backwards.

The race was good this morning. I ran a LOT better than I expected, which helps me feel better about the state of my training. It didn't hurt that I had an actual woman to compete against - having another woman so close to me really made me push myself. I don't know where I actually finished (I think I was 7th OA Female); the RD said that they were going to be mailing the awards. The software had a glitch where they couldn't print any results until the last finisher was in, and he didn't want to make people stand around in the cold/rain - which was really nice of him. I had put my sweats on after finishing (and running a real wussy "cooldown") but I was feeling pretty chilly standing around. I know they'll post the results on the track club site soon, anyway.

My watch time was 1:11:30 (7:40/mi.). Still a little behind where I wanted to be at this point in the year, but a lot better than my results at the 20K would indicate. Race report/more details later.

Dorky story

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I was running on my treadmill this afternoon, when I got this weird sensation below my right knee. It went on for a little while, and I was starting to worry about what was going on. A couple of minutes later, I remembered that I had cut my leg shaving this morning and had slapped a band-aid over the spot. The "pain" was just the loose end of the band-aid hitting my leg. How stupid!

Weather is kind of cruddy here again, which is why I stayed inside. I decided to do a 30:00 tempo run; the thing I don't like about tempo runs on the treadmill is that it feels so much harder than outside. The 10 minutes of faster running that I did (6.8-8.2 MPH) felt a lot quicker than my mile repeats last week, which is odd. I think I might be starting to get a psychological block about speedwork on the 'mill.

Training Week: May 2 - 8, 2005

Running: 4:34:45 | 30.64 miles
Walking: 0:04:22 | 0.25 miles

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Double Ugh

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Today's run was rated double ugh. The first ugh was because of a walkathon going on. I had planned on running from the fire station, but that fell through because there was no parking. (I think the walk started near there). So I went down to the golf course/field area. I started off running through downtown, which meant running the same route as all the walkers. It wasn't so bad when they were going the opposite direction, as they would move out of the way. The annoying part was coming up behind people that were walking across the width of the path, since the path downtown is lined by a wall and a fence so you can't run off the path to get around. I had some kid on a bike almost run into me, despite looking right at me - I guess he wasn't paying attention. Thankfully, most of my route was different so I was able to avoid the crowds.

Mile repeats

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Been blah lately, which equals no blogging. I took a couple of days off last week because I had zero motivation - I blame the return of the cold weather and the gray dreary days. It's kind of crazy that a few weeks ago I was in danger of getting heat stroke and then last week it was back in the 30s. I saw a few snowflakes on Saturday, and then got pelted with a bunch on Sunday (sure, they melted upon hitting the ground, but it was still snow falling). Sunday was funny because the first time the snow came down, I passed another woman on the trail and we exchanged "WTF?" looks. I don't remember exactly what she said, but I know my reply was something along the lines of "How is this May 1st?"

Training Week: April 25 - May 1, 2005

Running: 17.63 miles | 2:46:50

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