Sunday, August 28, 2005

Trail Note: long runs do hurt sometimes...

Today I finally ran my long run for the week. I was originally scheduled to run it on Friday, but wasn't feeling that well. By Saturday morning it was pretty clear that I was coming down with a little head cold, so I only ran 7 miles (rather than the 17 that I'd planned). After a coldbuster Jamba (yesterday) and a good night of sleep, however, I was feeling much better today, so there was no excuse not to get on the road.

The weather was just about perfect for a long run, ~ 70 degrees and cloudy, although it was a bit on the humid side. About 2 miles into the run I remembered that I was supposed to run 14 of the 17 miles at my marathon race pace. With a goal of qualifying for Boston, I'll need to run an average pace of 8:20 minutes per mile. It's good that I tried to hit that today, as I realized that I have no idea of what that pace feels like. My typical pace is probably around 8:30 on a typical run, 8:50 - 9:00 for a long run, and my "tempo" pace is about 8:00. In my effort to consistently hit 8:20, I ran anywhere from 7:46 to 8:35. My average pace was just under 8:30, with most miles coming at ~ 8:05. I felt great for the first 13 or 14 miles, and then I crashed hard. I felt miserable for the last 3 miles and the next couple of hours afterwards until I ate a huge brunch. I think part of my problem was that I didn't eat enough for the effort. Normally, a goo and a waterbottle full of gatoraid would be enough for me for this distance, but apparently only if I'm running at my usual long run pace.

In retrospect, I think it's better that I had a painful day today and learned something for the future. It's also good to push hard on a training run, something that I haven't been as good about as I should have been these last couple of months. I've been getting in the miles, but scrimping on the speedwork. I also learned that for harder efforts, more calories are needed.

Next week: a half marathon race. I'm really hoping that I can run it in 1 hr 45 minutes or faster. That should be a good indication that I'm on track for a 3:40 marathon. I'm taking several packets of goo for that one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Remember this day in February"

...were the very wise words a cyclist said to me while we were stopped at a light (that intersection where you wait forever for walk signs at the south end of Greenlake for those Seattle running-types) as I was on my run home today.

On those dark grey chilly days in February it is indeed hard to remember days like this in Seattle, with the blue skies, mountain views, and warm breezes with just the slightest crisp hints of fall.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Trail Note: The Beaver Lake Triathlon

I really like triathlons. I've been doing about 1 a year the past few years, usually at the end of the summer, and each time I wonder why I don't do more and swear that next summer with be the "summer of the tri."

This year I've been doing a lot of running, a little cycling (commuting 6 miles twice a week to school, which includes a steep climb home), and no swimming. The BLT is a race perfectly designed for my current training, as the swim is only 1/4 mile in a tiny pond, the bike is a hilly 14 miles and the run is 4.3 miles (also hilly).

The swim on Saturday was rough. I didn't feel bad or tired, I just saw the sea of yellow caps (my fellow second-wavers) moving ahead of me, and I knew that I was far back in the pack leaving the water. I felt a little dizzy in the transition area as I slowly put my shoes on (caused, I'm sure, by water in my ears), so knew that I'd have a slow first transition time. Once I clipped into my bike, however, I felt good. I cranked past a few people and started rolling up and down the "gently rolling hills." A few men passed me, but only one woman (whom I later passed at the beginning of the mile 8 climb). I forget how competitive I can get at these things. Rolling hills are my favorite terrain, because while the climbs are tough, they mean that downhills are coming. And the course was really pretty, passing through evergreen trees and farmland.

The best that can be said for the running leg of a triathlon is that it wasn't too bad, and this one wasn't. I didn't have the jelly legs as I started like I've had in the past; I felt pretty strong. I felt really tired, too, however, and I never really felt like I had anything in me to accelerate my pace. I timed my miles (the only part of the race I thought to time), and I was running just under 7 1/2 min miles, which seemed pretty fast, so I felt good about that.

Jeff and I have started keeping a spreadsheet of past race results, and this race was my fastest to date at every event. Unbelievably, even my swim was at a faster pace than previous tri's. My average cycling speed was 18.6 mph and my run was the 7:29 pace that I'd clocked on my watch. Apparently, everyone else is getting faster, too. I finished in the top 21% of my wave as opposed to top 11% in the same race 2 years ago. Sneaky yellow caps.

I think that next year really will be the summer of the tri. Half Ironman, perhaps?
Don't go here unless you really have some time to kill...

...which I didn't, blah, but it's a fun 80's music quiz (I scored 85); thanks, Kris, for the link.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Was it just a purple dream?

Since I first saw it yesterday sitting next to gold cauliflower, I thought it might be some horrible husky joke. Fortunately, the color of the purple cauliflower is natural (although carefully bred). It made for a colorful (although a little bland tastewise) side dish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Trail Note

So, I should probably write about recent runs here, but I'm tired after finishing my long run for the week (moved up to get a couple days rest before my tri on Sat), and I need to save up any creative energy to write my paper due tomorrow. So, I ran 17 miles today, I was a little tired, but not too much, my knees hurt a bit, but not too much, and the body glide did its job: no sore spots. One of these days I'll find a little more blogging energy. Really. Okay, maybe.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to Reality

A few things that I didn't do over the last 10 days:
- work on my paper due on Thursday
- sleep 8 hours a night
- log many hours at work
- eat my daily 5+ servings of fruits and veggies

A few things that I did instead:
- traveled to many pubs in the local neighborhoods
- saw the Violent Femmes
- picnicked
- shopped at REI
- brunched
- hosted a LOTR risk tournament / bbq
- watched the Mariners (lose, unfortunately)
- ate ice cream
- kayaked
- caught a movie
- ate fish tacos
- toured the local no-longer-micro-so-now-it's-craft brewery
- walked along the beach
- ran. and ran. and ran.
- experienced Teatro Zin Zianni
- hung with friends

Sigh. Feels like vacation is over; I'd better get working on that paper.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

She's Super Freaky

It's not even 11 am and I've already finished eating my lunch. Good thing that my pre-evening class dinner is only 6 hours away.

With extremely easy-going guests in town this week I realize how very non-easy-going I've become. I can't imagine not knowing what I'm going to eat for dinner the next 5 days or when I can do laundry or exactly where I'm going to sleep tonight. I need my fruit in the morning and balanced meals for lunch and dinner. Sleep a night without my luggage or without clean sheets? Don't even mention going a few hours without a shower in the morning.

Yes, I'm a persnickety control freak at the ripe old age of 32. Admitting it is half the battle.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New pictures are up here

Update: and here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Tri This

Dianna's Danskin race report is really fun and inspiring; she's done a great job of capturing all of those thoughts and emotions that run through my head during a race.

Her tri lessons learned are also right on (except the last one; I should really focus on tri's one year, as I'm better at the combo than I'll ever be at running, biking, or swimming independently).

As Jeff recently mentioned, we've signed up for the BLT (Beaver Lake Triathlon) on August 20th. I did this race in 1996 and it was my first triathlon. It was great to find a tri this summer with a short and relatively easy swim. That's such a bizarro-Trish comment; historically my best leg of a tri has been the swim, but as I've only been swimming once in the past 6 months while running lots and lots and biking my hill twice a week, I think I'll be needing a shorter swim.

While I'm on the subject, here's a shout out to my friend Chris as he's about to compete in his first full Ironman triathlon next week. Good luck!

Final tri-thought: Lance Armstrong would rock the Ironman; if he does, you read it hear first.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Ghost Cycles

I saw 5 of these today on my 7 mile run. Spooky. This one was the creepiest with its bent frame.