Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Race results and the next 6 weeks of training

My race went really well! I ran in 2 hours 11 minutes and 13 seconds. I've still got at least a minute to cut off to get to my goal time, but that's only seconds off each mile and totally doable. The course was USATF certified, but I clocked at 13.16 miles. The course was right, but it just means I didn't run it as efficiently as I could. Oh, I know, .5 of a mile, right? But it's one reason why smart athletes run the tangents. That .5 of a mile was 30 seconds. I'm not exactly concerned, I'm not setting any records here, but it's something I do think about trying to work on when I'm on certified courses. (Certified courses are measured on the shortest possible route line)

Post race I got myself a free massage this year! I also didn't have to wait very long either. I'll admit, I took like 5 yummy granola bars home from the food table because they had a ton and I didn't get anything last year. Actually, I think I missed the food table all together last year, but that's probably better because I got pretty sick after. The best thing was I didn't feel sick or any stomach aches or anything after this race and I ran 6 minutes faster than my last half, which is somewhere around 25 second faster on avg per mile - pretty cool!

I was kind of disappointed that I didn't get to see Kim or Cliff. I did want to leave after the race because Anise is back (yay!!) but I had hoped to at least pop in for a quick visit. Her dad was visiting so I knew a longer visit probably wouldn't work out. There was already some miscommunications on me staying with them so I got a hotel and then at like 3:30 when I got to Eugene I got a message from Kim basically saying, "good luck, sorry we can't see you, we're busy". Oh well. I just stayed in my hotel room watching netflix and took it easy.

I'm starting to feel ready to pick up my pace a bit during my weekday runs. I've always been running Monday/Thursday runs at a pretty comfortable pace. Sometimes that means I'm running a few faster miles, or a quicker pace all together and other times I'm just feeling like running a little slower. Because I want to work on getting faster my coach suggested running a 3-5 mile run about 25 seconds faster than my target race pace, and a 6-8 mile run close to my race pace. Right now that target pace is 9:55/min miles. I'll take it slow, but I think this will help boost my confidence a little and also speed up some of my training.

I've been doing really well keeping away the injuries and being cautious. The good thing about this shift is it's something to keep me challenged, but it's also something I can choose to back off from if it's too much. My main goal is to keep consistently training, stay injury free, motivated and HAPPY. I know what a rut feels like and I know they'll come and go, but since things have been coming together for me, I don't feel nearly as much like I'm going to land in rut-land if I keep it interesting. Goals and races are important to me because they give me something to focus on. I'm like that way with normal non-running related things too.

So, for now I've got a little bit of a different schedule than what's emailed to me every day, but as our training has gone on I've been less on point with that schedule anyway. I'm following it, but if I switch a day or run on a non-running day because I'm feeling good and feeling like running, it is not the end of the world. Basically, I've just chilled the eff out on my schedule and instead of scheduling runs they just feel like another part of my day. It's been like this for a bit now, but it's kind of neat when I start to realize it. I've been hitting consistent 30+ mile weeks (except race weeks) and it's good/comfortable.

I haven't really been talking much about other life stuff like I was before, because my life really isn't doing much. Not much has changed and any stuff that may be bringing me down starts to lift when I think about hitting the trails. It sounds totally cheesy, but I guess I'm just really in a good headspace with it all and I'm not willing to give that up right now. My job has been really freaking stressful (and I know I could look for another one) but I'd rather just run it off. In a way I feel a little isolated from a lot of people, but I guess that's another oh well.

Onward and upward! I keep getting to bed too late so I'm pretty sleepy. Track night tomorrow!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Traveling tomorrow - Eugene!

Tomorrow morning I'll wake up and start to pack a few things for my trip to Eugene. I'm getting pretty excited about running this race again because this time I really feel like I am going to shine. Oh goodness, I really hope so! My training is paying off, it really is and I'm trying to overcome these nerves and that big number TEN as in, running under 10 minute miles for an entire race. It's just a number that I'm caught up on that seems daunting.

I can do it, I've been hitting the track for speed work at consistent sub-8 miles. Of course those are much shorter sets, but that plus all my distance training, and hill runs on the weekdays have prepared me. I've got a month of solid training in since my last half marathon and that one was hilly. I've been training at very long distances recently. I've run a 14 1/2, 15.3 and an 18.2 miler now. The 18 miles was at an 11 minute pace and it was difficult on the last few miles, but I did it. 13 miles isn't scary to me anymore, it's just the pace that I'm trying to master.

I've been considering bringing my ipod for this race even though I haven't run with music in over a year. It may end up in my pocket anyway, but the ironic thing is, even though I don't run with music, when I did, my 5k races were some of the fastest I've run. I have an old running mix that I forgot I had and it's pretty great! I miss music, but I also really like hearing people cheer and talking to fellow race mates. I'll be running with the 2 hour 10 minute pace group. Even with only one ear bud in, I start to feel overwhelmed. I need a little fancy bluetooth headphone thing that I can shut off easily but listen to when I want/need a push.

I'm feeling a little down tonight I guess. I had a tough week with a lot of things. I've only run 8 miles, but this week is a lower mileage week for us (the group is only running 10 tomorrow since our 18 miler was a bit push last week). I also had the pleasure of spending $340 to fix the master brake cylinder on my car, when it turns out that wasn't even the main issue. The brakes work but they aren't great and I'm not about to go spend more money on a car shop that can't even tell me what's wrong. It's safe enough to drive, but it feels a little scary since I've not had any brake issues beyond fixing brake pads or replacing rotors. My landlord is going out of town for a week and I'm taking care of her animals (which includes letting a dog out twice a day). I was kind of hoping for a larger rent credit than $50 (she offered $40) but I'll take anything. It's not a ton of work or anything and I like her pets and helping out, but I do kind of have to amend my schedule a little bit to take care of the doggie. Oh well, a rent credit is a rent credit!

I'm hoping to get stuff together and work out a smarter budget for the upcoming months! I hate that money gets me so down but man, I just seem to have bad luck with electronics/cars/etc. I need to upgrade my phone but the cost of that is so ridiculous. I don't need something super fancy, but if I'm paying for a data plan I would like a phone that has a few fancy applications at least. My garmin is starting to die so fast now that after last week's 3 1/2 hour run it gave me a low battery warning (15%). It won't last for our 22 mile runs, so I'm hoping to upgrade before then and just carry my phone w/a GPS running app.

The good news though is that I haven't had any more abdominal pain. That was so weird and kind of scary. My knee has been pretty good recently, which makes me feel better too. I had some super awful headache yesterday but I think it was just stress related and I felt a lot better today! I'm trying to type and blab on in the hopes that I get tired, but I'm feeling kind of wired. I may not actually sleep much tomorrow night since I'm so nervous (ahhh, why??) so I've got to get to sleep here soon so I can try and get in a good 10 hours.

So you know those pictures I've referenced taking weekly? well I finally got around to really looking at them. I cropped/organized and put them all in order so I could compare the weeks. When you compare the first weeks picture to now it's pretty cool to see the difference. The funny thing is I'm only about 3lbs lighter but I look like I've lost quite a bit. In reality I've just toned up a lot, gained a bit of muscle and lost some thigh and stomach mass. My acupuncturist, who hadn't seen me for a month commented that I've trimmed down quite a bit too. It's nice when people notice! Before I started this training program I didn't weigh any more than what I did last summer, but it's pretty amazing how bodies change over time with some discipline and regular exercise. I'm happy to send the picture comparisons if you're interested but I'm not posting it here. :)

Well - I suppose I've gone on long enough! I'm going to finish my playlist and if I don't listen to it during the race it'll be good warm-up music! It's likely I won't change my race routine and use it, but sometimes I think about it. Especially when I get to doing longer runs on my own.. I may just have to use it sometimes! Time for sleep! I'm charging up the camera now and will do what I can to get a picture or two! (Yes, I know I owe you a lot from CLR too. I need to learn to not take a hundred pictures, because then it feels too overwhelming to figure out which ones to post because so many are awesome! That whole area was just gorgeous. I'll probably just upload a bunch to a picasa album or something to sort that all out!)

By the way, if you'd like to sign up to get an email about my race time when it comes in you can sign up here: https://www.athletepath.com/Brie%2BMoore/u/624238/follow

It's kind of a neat service. Usually it updates a few hours after the race, but it will update before I post my next blog! I've seen it mess up and send out the gun time though and not chip time - chip time is the time you actually cross the start/finish - but hopefully they've fixed that bug!

As said before, I'm going to do my best to aim for 2 hours and 10 minutes but I'm trying not to invest too much in this goal just yet since I still have 6 more weeks of training left before the *goal* race. The cool thing though is that if I make this time it would mean I'd set a personal best by 7 minutes and set a course personal best by over 21 minutes! It's a lofty goal but I think I can at least cut a few minutes off at the least. Trying to keep the good nerves in and the bad ones with the doubting self-talk out! Wish me luck!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Busy Brie!!

Oh my gosh, I am so darn busy you guys. CLR feels like forever ago even though it was only 2 weeks. I haven't had a chance to go through all the pictures yet --I'm not entirely sure where all my time is going besides running, working and sleeping. I'm working from home tomorrow because I need to fix the brakes on my car so I should have some downtime (hopefully) to at least start sorting through pictures and adding them to the post I've yet to hit "publish" on.

As for other running related things here are a few updates:

-Last weekend I ran up Vista which is about 1,000 feet of elevation gain over 2 1/2 miles. There was some power-walking involved, but I conquered it. We did two loops at the top around Council Crest (mild rolling hills) and then back to the store for a total of 15.5 miles. I felt really great! The fig paste is working for me.

-Last night at track practice a huge tree branch fell out of nowhere onto the track. It was really scary and we all sprinted over to help anyone who may have been over there. The massive branch trapped one girl who was training with her coach from a local college. Two of our girls got scratched up pretty bad, but they're alright. The other girl was taken to the hospital and thankfully she only ended up with a broken arm and some bruises/cuts. The news report estimated it to be 600lbs!!

-Right now it is 6pm and 98F. It was 82 degrees at 10am this morning when I went for my run. I was supposed to hit 5 miles but was more than happy with 3 and some change! I drank a lot of water and ran in the shade as much as I could.

-I ran 31 miles last week so I have been cutting back a little this week instead of last week when it was on the schedule. I know the long run will be at least 16 miles this weekend. I don't think I'll be running until then. It's too hot to run and I'm more than happy to take a little more time resting.

-Last night after the tree fell and everyone went home in my group I stuck around. I had a lot of adrenaline and decided to put it to good use and ran a flat out super fast mile. I didn't look at my watch and I ran around the tree on the grass. When I got home I uploaded my data and saw that I ran that mile in 7 minutes and 34 seconds!! I have not run that fast since 5th grade. Of course I am sure I couldn't sustain that pace for much longer but I was pretty darn excited. I remember checking the temperature when I was heading home and it was 91 degrees then too!

-Next Sunday I'm going to be running the Eugene Women's half, which is a race that I ran last year and for my birthday this year my dad bought me the race entry! I was a little bummed last year that all the free massage times were filled up when I finished so you can bet I'll be running for a darn massage this year!! I'm not making any solid goals, but I am secretly hoping that I'll hit my 2:10 half time on this run (or really close!). I am trained and the distance isn't an issue anymore it's just sustaining speediness, which I've been working on. The race is fairly flat so I think my chances of running my goal time are pretty good!

-Tonight is a laundry night and work night. Then it's off to catch up with a friend who moved to Chicago for a quick drink and then back home to sleep. I've been a busy bee and while it's been nice I am kind of sad I don't have the bandwidth to post as much anymore. As I already mentioned, I'm getting a lot of my running stuff out over on dailymile, where people log workout's. It's been pretty great and inspiring and also fun to keep up with others and keep track of my own stuff in a social environment.

Time to go but I'll try to be back sooner than later!

Monday, August 6, 2012

CLR and Week #12!

My weekend was really wonderful. I'm working on a blog post with pictures and details about the relay. I met some fun people, took in beautiful scenery, and ran pretty well overall! I'm happy with how I did as realized I averaged a 10 minute pace or faster once I sat down and uploaded all my Garmin data. My last run was slower but it was definitely a mental breakdown at mile 2 where I walked for a minute because oh my gosh, the heat was brutal.

All those pictures are on my home computer so I should get an update up sometime soon! I only have picture of my van members though, so I'm a little sad about that. I'm sure others will pop up here and there though.

Right now I'm back at work with no motivation to read the 60 emails I've received. I've been trudging through them though, but I needed to take a break. I'm thinking about how I really wanted to tackle Wildwood before it got too hot tonight, but even later it should still be fairly cool in Forest Park. Unfortunately, I'm stuck here and then doing other non-fun adult things like laundry and a little bit of work tonight. I have some running clothes with me in case I can get a couple quick miles in, but I can't do anything longer as it'll be too warm and I loaned out my water belt for the last unsupported leg of the race and it came back to me very, very sweaty. It's getting washed tonight thankfully!!

I think I need to take a bank deposit in tonight though so it's looking like today will be cross-training. This translates to: I'll make a weak attempt at some yoga, do some strength training exercises and love on my foam roller for an hour or so. Laundry night kind of hinders much productivity since I don't have my own washer/dryer. The good thing is 80% of my laundry is running gear, which I lay around to dry, so it shouldn't take too long.

I felt pretty great yesterday and if it wasn't over 90 degrees I may have considered going for a nice recovery run. If I can get everything done tonight and get enough sleep I'll hopefully be able to get in a nice early run tomorrow then hit up the climbing gym after work. I ordered a new pair of climbing shoes as my oldest pair has been beyond worn for way too long and my second pair just hurt my feet too much. Sierra Trading Post was a risk since it's ordering online, but the shoes I bought (5.10's - Fox) feel like the right size and fit. They were so inexpensive online vs elsewhere. They're less technical than the Katana's (the ones that hurt) but since running is my main activity I'd prefer to not completely kill my feet in my climbing shoes.

This morning I got our weekly training update email and realized I'm in Week #12 of training! It kind of makes me sad that we will be finished in 8 weeks because I've had such a great time, but there are other programs from local running stores that host Saturday or Sunday runs for free so I'll join up with them. Running has become a lot more of a social event for me and I want to keep it that way. I'll miss track night but I have a pretty solid idea now of what I'm capable of and what I can do to stay on track until the program starts up again late January.

Every 4th week is a cut-back week so today's run was supposed to be a 30 minute recovery run. I ran quite a bit less miles last week since I only ran about 5 miles on Monday and then about 17 total between Friday night and Saturday afternoon. I had some reminders about quality over quantity though, and I know I had some pretty awesome quality miles and a lot of fun so I'm not really that concerned. I haven't listened to the past two cut-back weeks because I've been training for races during this program and wanted to be up to speed, but I have no good reason to not listen this week :)

Today is only supposed to be a 30 minute recovery run. It's funny how short that seems. I've kind of surpassed the half marathon training group but I'm not quite at the full marathon group either. It's nice to go with what I feel I can work into my schedule and feels good. I already know that Saturday's long run up Vista is somewhere around 15 or 16 miles and that plus track night and a couple shorter runs this week will still mean I've got a pretty solid week. I'm looking forward to this run quite a bit even though I know it's going to be incredibly difficult. I'm not entirely sure I want to look at the elevation profile quite yet.

Well, it looks like I've procrastinated some of these emails long enough! A nice mid-day break to get some of this out helps. I'll post soon on my weekend and just wanted to let everyone know I'm back, alive and had a great time!!

Now it's time to get myself back to work!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Things to do the night before leaving for a 2 day relay

I've been pretty organized and thorough with my packing, which has me pretty proud since so much of this was last minute. One thing I didn't get around to doing was making homemade granola bars, which are super easy to make but I went to three stores for other supplies and decided to bail. It seems like it's a fend for yourself type of situation and while it would be nice to bring everyone granola, I'm bringing at least a pound of really good beef jerky, ginger snaps, snickers, pb&j sandwiches, apples, bananas, grapes, luna and mojo bars, clif shot bloks, ignite energy gels, ultima electrolyte mix, pretzel pieces and some trail mix. I think that's quite a bit of food already and even though I'm not leaving until about 1pm tomorrow, quite frankly, I'm just tired. I'll have more than enough of most of those things to offer others in my van. I don't even KNOW the other people in my van except their first names.

The food listed above is also just van snack stuff, there are quite a few options around for food, but I am going to be avoiding fast food. Buying the snickers bars and even luna bars today kind of had me cringe a little but they were inexpensive and even if they're melted, I bet a snickers would taste pretty good after a long run. I haven't had a snickers in years! Don't worry, I'll keep myself fed and fueled. I like to run smart but not heavy. They always warn about eating fibrous foods but that is what my body needs to be normal so I never listen and eat a lot of salad and veggies beforehand. I am always okay.

Here's a funny thing - I was actually given a spot in Van #1 which I found out late last night in an email. I asked for the spot so I felt bad asking to switch but when I found out the team leader is bringing his dog and I think I would be in a van with all guys (sounded like guy names!) who all run much faster than me I felt like I should switch. Van #2 has two ladies and even if he switches out with one there will still be another female. I kind of want some feminine energy on this trip too. I think we may be a slower van, but that is okay by me!

I don't know if we have a van "leader" or how we are picking legs, I only know what Van #1 is doing. I've picked my first and second choices and I'm kind of hoping I can just run those and the others can pick their routes at random or whatever they want to do. My first choice are listed as more difficult (also 18.9 miles total) so I can't imagine I'm going to be met with a lot of resistance. I picked them in order so I would be runner #9. This means I'd run leg #9, 21, and 33. I picked this because even though it's difficult the first one looks the hardest and I would like to get that one covered first. The distances covered are also in descending order.

Van #2 has a couple easy options to start as our first leg and I guess it could make sense to do an easy route first to acclimate yourself, but after being at elevation for close to 15 hours before I run, I'd prefer to just tackle the hardest one out of the box and not be running a super hard route later on.

We'll see it it works out. My second choice is 15.4 miles and easier but not the easiest by any means. That would be runner #11 (leg #11, 23, and 35). I do know what legs I do not want to run. I wonder how organized or preferential other people are going to be. See, I have a lot of questions but I'm not really that worried. I'm just trying to be as prepared as I can be!

Tomorrow the only thing I need to buy is bulk stuff for trail mix, fruit, water jugs, and hardcore bug spray. They said buy the stuff with DEET because the bugs are huge. I may also buy some anti-bloating medicine. Maybe that is TMI, but traveling upsets my stomach and no one needs to be bloated and running. I need to find my headlamp for the night run. I have to gather my tent, sleeping bag and mat but they are all in my big closet. I've got to remember my shower bag, a small towel for how gross and sweaty I will inevitably get and a bigger towel for shower access, which we have at some point after our second leg I believe. Certainly there is a bit left for me to do, but it's nice to have about 3-5 hours tomorrow, depending on how late I sleep. I'm going to try to sleep 10 hours tonight.

So I'm pretty darn excited! I didn't expect I would be posting another blog before I left but it was a little too early to sleep and I had packed most of what I wanted to get together tonight. After studying the legs today I feel a lot better but I am very nervous running at elevation. I'm also pretty nervous about the dry heat but only because I am not fond of any heat. My teammates will certainly help with motivation and my gut says I made the right choice switching to Van 2 even though I ultimately wanted a spot in Van 1. Ironically, I do know one of the guys in Van 1 because he is one of the faster pacer for the GFLF group. He doesn't show up every week and he might recognize me, but I haven't officially met or talked to him much.

It looks like it's time for me to head to bed as the final kitty just jumped up on my bed for sleep! I've trained my cats well ;) I am bringing my netbook with me but only so I can charge my phone (although it will be off) and more importantly, my Garmin. It's pretty unlikely that I will be reachable though until Sunday after I leave here tomorrow so I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!