Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 20: Back to the beach

I was soooooo exhausted this morning when I got up. Our flight was delayed last night due to LAX being fogged in and

I guess it was all the travel and Portland fun but man was I dragging. It definitely took me twice as long to get ready to run this morning - I was bumbling and stumbling round the house, digging out my gear from my bag, chugging some water and trying to get a move on. We had a busy day of work ahead and I was losing time.

The schedule (post to follow) has us mainly running by time during the week then by mile for our long runs. So today's run was to be 30 minutes.  I knew roughly where to turn around to approximate 30 minutes and then just kept an eye on my watch.

I was slow and steady compared to the last time I ran the route but that was fine. I took it easy, a zen-like approach to my run and conjured up a flash of Bouv's famous grin when I started to get a little too cranky.

today's run:  2.8 miles
season mileage to date: 31.9 miles

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 17: Portlandia

As expected Portlandia was a grey. It was not, however, as freezing as I expected so that was a bonus.

We had meetings all day then I made it into my running gear and out the door before my boss tempted me with Pok Pok chicken wings and a beer. 

I headed from the Ace to the river and it was actually pretty pleasant. I forgot that its really lovely to run when there is a little chill in the air. I mean sometimes I get that in Venice if it is really fogged in but its not a real chill. I used the bridges as my landmarks and quickly completed a 2.5 mile more or less down and back route.  It took me 29 minutes but I'm going to chalk that one up to lights and traffic.

By the time I got back, I had my first email of the season from the coaches, along with the schedule. I'm freaking out a little but that's for another post...practice starts Sunday!

today's run:  2.5 miles
season mileage to date: 29.1 miles

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 16: A "long" run

I laid low last night knowing I needed to run in the morning because I'm flying to Portland (OR) at noon.  And I knew I had to run today because its a work trip and who knows what will happen with work or the weather up there.

I wanted to do a longer run, mentally prepping for the future weekends when we will be doing our distance runs on the weekends. I thought about going for three full miles then more or less said meh and planned on between 2.7 and 2.8 miles, staying in the 10% idea.

My legs felt heavy again this morning but I trudged on through and by the time I got to the turn around point I had loosened up. The waves are "going off" as all the surfer friends say and it was good scenery between the waves crashing and the surfers trying to catch them.

When I got to where I planned on stopping, I found I had a little extra energy and kept on straight to the coffee shop...just shy of three miles. Should have just given myself that little kick in the ass but ah well - three...and four...and five miles will be here soon enough.

today's run:  2.9 miles
season mileage to date: 26.6 miles

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 14: Steely morning run

TFIG people!

Given Wednesday night's bad sleep I was exhausted last night and passed out at 10:30.

Despite a good, pretty long night's sleep, I woke up feeling sooooo damn tired. I stumbled around sleepily getting ready in the half-light, it taking me twice as long as normal.

When I finally started, running my legs felt like lead weights. Meh.

It was chilly and fogged in. Even though my legs were sluggish, throughout the run I noticed that my cardio is definitely getting better, I don't feel as wheezy as I have been. It's been two weeks since I started running again and I do think it's been the most gradual re-entry into running I've had, even as compared to the first marathon. Granted, for Phoenix we had a long-long training season - I think at least 6 full months between start and race. This season will only be 5 months, so I think will prove a bit more challenging, but with all the other health improvements since I moved, I also feel like I'm starting ahead.

Tomorrow is a rest day - see you on Sunday!

today's run:  2.5 miles
season mileage to date: 23.7 miles

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 13: A good pace

Despite having Monday off, this week is feeling LONG. Work's a little crazy right now and I made the mistake of having not one but two cups of coffee yesterday afternoon. I just needed a little pick-me-up.

But apparently I am an old lady now and can't have real coffee after noon if I want to have a decent night's sleep. It took me forever to fall asleep, and after what seemed like ages and I did, something woke me up and as I rolled over...I saw the light was starting to creep in. I hissed to myself "...and that damn alarm is about to go off." And sure enough it did. Unsurprisingly, my little sleep app gave me a "46% sleep quality" rating confirming what I already knew - that it was a crap night's sleep.

I hit the road expecting for the run to go poorly but to my surprise it was a good day. My legs loosened up quickly and I settled into what felt like a comfortable pace in short order. I stayed to the beach path completely, with a little down and back that ended at the coffee shop per the usual and my pace was right where it should be - 11:04m miles.

today's run:  2.5 miles
season mileage to date: 21.2 miles

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 11: Feeling crunchy

Yesterday after my run, a few friends and I decided a hike was in order. I'm not entirely convinced it was the best idea for my legs but I survived even if my upper butt / hips are a little sort today.

We hit Temescal Canyon, going for the ridge trail which looked to be about 3 miles. You'd think I'd be an expert hiker by now but clearly not - we started around noon (too hot for canyon hiking then!), I forgot water so grabbed a bottle that had been sitting in Casey's car for who-knows-how-long (it was fine!) and my sneakers were not quite as supportive as they should have been. AND we forgot post-hike snacks. Fail!

But the hike itself was pretty if a bit dusty. The trail winds up and up until you get some nice ocean views.

I think you can keep winding up but we decided we'd had enough up and headed down into the canyon. When its not all droughty, there is apparently a waterfall, but we were just happy to have a little shade after all the climbing in the sun.

Anyway - it was enough uphill yesterday that my body was definitely feeling it when I headed out to run this morning. Not bad, but just a bit stiff and crunchy. But other than that, it was another beautiful, although misty, morning in Venice Beach for a run. My cardio felt even better today (read: less wheezing!) and it was a good way to kick off even this very short week.

Oh! And I started my fundraising last night - I'm sending letters in batches, starting with you guys from the past. Thanks to everyone who donated - $775 in one day is an excellent start!

today's run:  2.4 miles
season mileage to date: 18.7 miles

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 10: The 10% Rule

Good morning!

Nothing very eventful to report on today's run. I plotted out 2.4 miles and while felt a bit sleepy early in the run, it was good overall and my pacing was right on-point - exactly 11 minute miles.

While I'm waiting for "real" practice to start, I'm going to go by the 10% rule. According to Runner's World:

"The 10-percent rule (10PR) is one of the most important and time-proven principles in running. It states that you should never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent over the previous week."

I'm going to consider my weeks Sunday -> Saturday so if I leave off that first Saturday, I ran 11.7 miles in Week One. That means I can run at most maximim another 1.17 miles on top of that this week. 

How my days are falling I think technically I'll only end up running 4 days this week unless I end up running three days in a row later this week but this is what I'm thinking.

Sunday: Off
Monday: 2.4 miles
Tuesday: 2.6 miles
Wed: Off
Thursday: 2.6 miles
Friday: 2.6 or 3 miles
Sat: Off

That will only get me 10ish miles but this early its probably not the worst thing stay "flat" for a week.

today's run:  2.4 miles
season mileage to date: 16.3 miles

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Day 8

After a fun dinner with friends, I got up a little later and more dehydrated than planned, and decided coffee was going to take precedence over any running. I caught up on some back posts and before I knew it, noon had rolled around. Meh. It's pretty warm today, and I don't like running when its too warm and I thought of at least 10 other excuses of why I should postpone my run until tomorrow. But I talked myself out of it and headed out.

It was a pretty busy out on the boardwalk so I opted for a route that was a little longer than the usual and stayed primarily on the bike path to avoid the tourists that were on foot at least.

I tried to keep the pace easy going as I avoided bikers and other runners. I got a little tired at the end, and predicted I was running a little faster than normal and sure enough, when I got done, I was running around 10m37s miles.

Tomorrow's an off day - I might try to get to Bikram if the universe doesn't thwart me for the 4th time this week.

today's run:  2.6 miles
season mileage to date: 13.9 miles

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 7: Pink Mountain Morning

This morning's run was beautiful.

Wednesday evening was a full moon I believe, so still quite full, and had not yet set into the sea.

Some mornings as the sun rises, it casts a rosy hue over the mountains in the north.

The sky fades in darker shades of blues to lavender and where it meets the sea, the marine layer carries a chartreuse sheen.

All of this was in full effect with the moon still casting its rays over the waves.

It was so breathtaking that I changed up the route to be able to gaze at the view a little longer and accidentally ran a little less than I intended.

Maybe this morning-person thing isn't so bad.

today's run:  2.2 miles
season mileage to date: 11.3 miles

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day 6: Over the top

I've been going (or trying to go) to Bikram recently and I want it to be my strength/cross-training go-to as I train for the marathon. I have mixed feelings about patroning Bikram studios, because Bikram himself is apparently a misogynistic jerk but that is probably a discussion for another post.

My feelings about Bikram Choudhury aside, I do enjoy the practice. For those of you that don't know, Bikram yoga is a set series of 26 poses, performed in a room at a minimum of 105 degrees and 40% humidity. I find Bikram to be pretty polarizing - either people love it or hate it, and there's all sorts of discussions over if the heat makes you over extend yourself leading to injury etc. etc.  When I tried it for the second time a few years ago I thought I was going to hate it because I hate working out in the heat. However, I found that I liked the precise series of poses - no matter who your teacher is, the routine is the same every class so the how much you like the teacher matters less. You can also track your improvement easily over time which is good reinforcement. The hardest part is starting out - you are encouraged to simply stay in the room and to sit down as you need to if the heat becomes too much and you feel a bit woozy.

Anyway - I like it and signed up for a one-month intro pass for January to see if I can work it into my schedule. Of course everyone and their mother is doing the same thing it being January, and the studio is the only one on the West side, class has been both really crowded and there's parking issues. I tried to go Monday, and the parking lot was a disaster with people coming and going, and I trolled around the block 3 times looking for street parking before saying screw it and heading home.

So today my idea was to go home, change and bike over. Traffic was a beast today, and I left a little late so I didn't get to my house until 6:10, and class is at 6:30. I quickly changed and threw some water, my yoga towel and clothes to change into later into a little bag, grabbed my bike and started charging towards the studio. I muttered under my breath "watch today be the day I get into a bike accident trying to get to yoga on time" as I zoomed passed cars and pedestrians.

As I crossed an intersection and my bag slipped off my shoulder. Swearing, I tried to jerk it back up my arm but I have a lovely old mens road bike, not a cruiser, and it is not suited to biking with a bag over one shoulder unless its a cross-body so it did not cooperate and I needed to pull over.

As I slowed down the bag slipped further down my arm and got caught between the fork and the wheel which of course abruptly stopped spinning. All was slow motion as I looked down, realized what had happened and realized the momentum was going to carry me over the handlebars and my last thought was "oh. shit." as I felt the back of the bike rising into the air. Of all my years riding a bike in New York, I was going to break my face in bike-friendly Venice Beach and it was completely my own fault.

I don't know if it was adrenaline or what but the next thing I knew I was getting up off the ground. I still have no memory of the fall itself but I landed without really a scrape. An italian couple saw the fall, and they rushed over, helping me grab the bike, and not speaking a word of english but plenty of hand moments chastised me for not wearing a helmet or long pants. The gent helped decouple my bag - which was jammed really well between the fork and the wheel - from my bike, tied the handles of my bag up tight and insisted on helping me get the chain back on the bike despite my protests. After a hundred "grazie mille"s to them, I got back on the bike and feeling that my front wheel was slightly rubbing against the breaks, slowly slowly made my way back home.

Its kind of miraculous that aside from a banged up right shoulder and hip - clearly I somehow rolled as I fell - I didn't hurt myself and because of that I've been mostly laughing about the whole experience at this point. But yes yes...I'll try to be better about wearing my helmet from here on in.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 5

I went into today's run consciously trying to go a tiny bit slower than the other day but run a little bit farther.  I did the same loop as yesterday but then ran a bit farther to my little local coffee shop, running steadily but not crazy fast.

The pacing was perfect - right around 11 min miles and I ended feeling solid, knowing I could have run even more.

today's run:  2.4 miles
season mileage to date: 9.1 miles

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 4: Early bird

One thing I've learned over the course of my running "career" is that the best way for me to guarantee the run is going to happen is to get it over with in the morning.

I've probably mentioned before but I am not naturally a morning person - for most of my life I've loved sleeping in. Since I moved, this changed a bit - I'll give most of the credit to not wanting to stay in bed with such nice weather, less drinking and more reasonable bed-times.  I also started using the Sleep Cycle app - it wakes you up within a window (of your choosing) at a time when it can sense you're already stirring. It seems to wake me up feeling less draggy, even when it gives me a poor sleep score.

In any case - at least while its dark when I get home from work - I decided to get up no later than 6:30 for my runs. According to the app I was up at 6:27, probably out the door by 6:40. The temp is pretty much perfect for running at this time of the morning - a tiny bit chilly, good for a light long-sleeved shirt  but not too chilly for shorts. I headed out onto the bike path running north, then looped back in to boardwalk to head back south.

The run was feeling pretty crappy and I realized I was probably going a bit too fast. I stuck with it, picking a landmark ahead and focusing on getting to that pole or house until I got to the end of the run. I was glad I made it but I was waaaay too winded.

Sure enough, when I went back and did the math, I laughed - I was running 10m25s miles which even for short runs is way too "fast" for my out-of-shape-self.  Need to be closer to 11 minute miles at least for now.

today's run:  2.3 miles
season mileage to date: 6.7 miles

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 2: Easing into it

I thought about going to Bikram this morning but was feeling too dehydrated to subject myself to all that heat and figured I should be focusing on the ole running anyway. First on the agenda on Sunday though is the Farmers' Market. I could go on and on and on about how much I looooove the markets here but I will stay on topic for now. So I grabbed a coffee, hit the market, and then headed out to the beach for a run.

It's my first January here in LA and the mornings have been downright beautiful.

I did the same little loop near my house - running down the boardwalk, darting around tourists and bikers and eventually swinging into the bike path and heading back towards my house.

I know these are baby runs but I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of soreness from the day before. I finished feeling good and did plenty of stretching. I need to work out my cross-training - I know my stress fractures were in good part due to my lack of it probably during all my previous seasons. Bikram is definitely on the agenda, and thinking swimming might be good as well but probably need to work some strength training in there. With all this sunshine though I'm gym averse so we'll have to see.

today's run:  2.2 miles
season mileage to date: 4.4 miles

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A change of scenery...

Hello again! It's been a little while...just about four years?

 Lots of life has happened in the past few years. I was going to move to London to open an office with Syrup. But completely burnt out from work and New York, I puleld a 180 quit my job entirely. A friend and I went to Thailand for a month and I plotted my Westward move. I finally moved to Los Angeles almost a year ago. It's been a whirlwind - I found a dreamy apartment by the beach, work has been keeping me busy - building an office here in LA, flying back to NYC once a month, and I've learned how to drive! Yep, after 36 years on earth sans car - I'm scooting around in my own little Prius. 

As far as running goes...there has been little to none since my last marathon attempt in 2010 was thwarted by stress fractures for the 2nd time.

 I'm not sure what got into me this afternoon, but I decided it's time to try for another marathon. I'm settling into life here in lovely Cali, I have the time, and I miss doing something for good on a steady basis. AND weather is never going to be an excuse not to run.

 So...after taking a little run before actually hitting "submit", I signed up for the Seattle marathon with Team in Training. The marathon is June 21 so I've got 23 weeks to train and not break my bones again. I'm going to take it nice and easy - practice starts February 2nd so between now and then I'm going to hopefully ease my way up to a 4-mile base.

And of course, we have fundraising to accomplish! I'm hoping to beat my record this time around and raise at least $10,500 for Team in Training this time around. Please consider making a donation here

More soon from the road...

Today's run: 2.2 miles