Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8 weeks until Chicago!

Last week we moved into the single digit territory in the countdown to the Chicago Marathon. My training is back on the rails for the most part and I'm starting to feel fit. After the two weeks of pits, or as they are labeled in my training journal "POOOOP" I got back to work quickly.

Week 7 - 61 miles (LR* 15 easy, W* 2 x 3 mile @ 6:25 pace)
Week 8 - 64 miles (LR 16 last 6 @ 6:15s, W 4 x 400s, 5 miles @ 6:00 pace, 4x400s)
Week 9 - 70 miles (LR 18.5 easy, W 2 x (3x1mile))
Week 10 - tbd (LR 18 last 6 @ 6:10 pace, W tomorrow) 
*LR = long run, W = workout

Now there are under 8 weeks left until the big day. I'm dialing my diet and rest and I'm hammering my training. Notably from here on out, no booze. I'm cutting back empty calories (Wonka diet on pause) and adding thoughtful fuel. I'm trying to get more than 7 hours of shut-eye a night.

This last weekend my parents were out visiting from Massachusetts. And we set off on an adventure to Winthrop. I wanted to book the Rolling Huts, but all the huts were taken. So I booked two of the safari tents on site. Big difference. The tents were very rustic (read: no one slept). We stayed for a couple nights.

blurry tents at night
The first night about 20 minutes after drifting to sleep on my little army cot, I was awoken by a very loud drunk woman. Her big HA HA HA laugh and loud proclamations like, "My dog SH*TS on the SIDEWALK ALL the TIME" went on and on as I lay sleepless. I could only hear her and another voice at the community fire pit. After 20 minutes I decided enough! I threw on my hoodie and shorts and marched my booty right out there. As I neared the pit I noticed it was not one or two or ever four people at the fire. Instead is was pretty much the ENTIRE camp. Even this one couple that I'd seen running around with a toddler.

Before I knew it was standing right there in the little sliver of land left around the fire. The HA HA HA woman welcomed me. I didn't have my glasses on but I could see smiles in the fire light. I had no time to back out, so I delivered my little "keep it down" speech to all the happy faces and I turned to go. I chanted in my head, "don't run, don't run"... but I only made it two steps out of the fire circle and I was sprinting barefoot for my tent. I felt like such a turd.

Needless to say I made no friends in the tents. And the next morning there were no hellos, just little snickers as I went by. But I had bigger fish to fry. I had an 18 miler with the last 6 under 6:20. I set out around 9:30am and headed out on route 20 towards Okanagan forest. I wheeled around packed trails when I needed a reprieve from the pavement and was comfortably clipping along at 7:15 pace. At mile 7 I started the climb into the pass. Luckily I turned at 9.2 miles and headed back. Took my one gel at 11 and at 12 started cranking.

I was straight into a headwind and uphill to start and I overcompensated on effort. Clocking in a 6:00 flat! Then a 6:03, 6:07, 6:11, 6:07, 6:12. I felt strong. I kept trying to slow but worried I'd slow too much. The mile splits just wheeled by. The last .25 got gritty, but I held on. The headwind was steady and the hills rolled. It was a good confidence booster for me.

After a shake out walk and two bottles of Nuun I headed to the river with a peanut butter sandwich and Runner's World Magazine. I sat in the cold water and enjoyed my snack and some reading.
ice bath

After a quick shower we all headed out to hike. We'd been told that Hart's Pass would be a good drive and hike. I will say that's not true if the car is full of 4 grown adults terrified of heights. As I drove my Hyundai up and up and up ... my stomach sank lower and lower. My mother was making loud exhales like she was breathing into a huge paper bag. The oldies station plinged along as we all tried to lighten the mood.


The cliff to my left became sharper and sharper and every time a car needed to pass it was all we could do not to just start screaming in sheer panic. About 3.5 miles up at Dead Horse Point my mother yelled, "I can't take it anymore! I'm getting out!" And she did. She ran all the way down the mountain. We were left perched there, danging it seemed, and there was only one way to go. My husband and father were silent as I tuneless hummed to Elton John and tried not to poop my pants. My car crawled over each rock until we reached a place where I go turn around.

between the 18 miler and this drive, my HR was higher on the drive. guaranteed. 

After we followed the dust trail to my terrified mother and picked her up, we headed for some overly tame redemption hiking at Rainy Lake. Hello, paved trail.

I was going to give-up booze on Sunday, but let me tell you after Hart's Pass I needed just one glass or two of Merlot. I will say that darn road is on my life list now. I would have finished it, and now I really want to. I just might need to be drugged, in the trunk...

I have a feeling the views would be worth it...this is only 1/2 way up

Friday, August 9, 2013

glow on!

Okay, a lot of rad things have happened in my life but nothing quite compares to having a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt featuring my running silhouette being sold on Oiselle.com. I've peaked at 30. Ta-da.

Just like me all this runner graphic needs is some sunshine (or bright light) for a few minutes and boom: glow-in-the-dark power.

seriously! glow-in-the-dark!
Running makes my life glow... and here are few other random things that make my life glow too:

Sweet, smooth 70s jams and their corresponding album covers. Yes, that Steven Stills cover is part of my home decor. 

Owen Robinson and all the awkward couples pictures we've taken. So. Many. 

Hot summers.


My Oiselle family.

Living outside.
Running when it's too hot outside.

Doesn't really matter the season ... just put me OUTSIDE!

I guess that really came full circle. What makes you glow??

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

out of the pits!

I got to the bottom of life's pits! And I'm happy to report I survived...

The night I wrote my armpit blog, I got my big girl pants on and rode the ElliptiGO home. About 4 miles from my door, I got in a nasty wreck with a bicyclist. Mentally I was in a bad place and I unloaded all my rage on this unsuspecting bike commuter. It was his fault and he was riding like a complete *bleep-bleep-motha-bleepin'* stoner. But tearing into a dude down under the 99 bridge in front of an audience of homeless people waiting for their meal at the soup kitchen isn't really how I imagine my best self.

Owen picked me and my mangled ElliptiGO up in SODO and I guess that was rock bottom. I was exhausted but knew I'd completely lost my shit and it was time to get it back together, even if running was off the table. Every day since that wreck things have gotten better and better.

I've crawled out of the armpits of life! The two weeks I spent in there were NOT two weeks I had to spare in this training circuit. But I'm looking forward, and pretending that weeks 6 and 7 were supposed to be 25 mile weeks fueled only by pain, self pity and vicodin.

It wasn't all my amazing outlook that got me out of the pits (sarcasm). I also changed my shoes entirely. Took out my ancient shreds of orthodics and traded them for pronation-stability shoes with an added arch support insert. Game changer. My PT has been working to change my running form, and it's working. So what used to work for me, no longer was.

I ramped my mileage right back up. Trying to be smart, but truthfully I don't have time to be too cautious. I have to ride the line between pain and injury. If it works the pay off could be big. Back to work...