Sunday, November 29, 2009


Had a surprisingly good 16-mile run this morning. We did all the right things -- had a light breakfast, then lay around while it settled, then got up, made Powerade, grabbed Hammer Gels, and headed out the door. Because today's Seattle Marathon crossed part of our usual downtown run, we decided to do a simple out and back on the Burke-Gilman Trail. This had the added benefit of keeping us near bus lines if the weather turned, if my quad couldn't take it, or whatever.

Wil kept a nice, even slow pace the whole time -- unlike me, who kept getting distracted and then running into the back of him. Sorry baby! The trail was pretty empty, just a handful of runners and cyclists out in the gray misty morning. It was really quite beautiful out there -- damp black asphalt and luminous yellow leaves, nearly as bright as the rain jackets most of the cyclists were wearing.

The run was so easy that there's not much else to report really -- we just ran slow and steady. A perfect Long Slow Distance run. It was only afterward that Wil pointed out that it's one of the longest runs we've ever done. We've done half marathon distance 6 or 7 times, which makes it relatively easy for us. But once you get above 14, we haven't done that many runs, really. Looking back at our training log from last year, we did a 14, a 16, and an 18 before getting snowed in. So that puts today's 16-miler in a tie for our third longest run EVER. Nice!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

playing catchup

Okay, so long time, no blog. Or little blog, I guess. There has been very little news on the running front, but I suppose there *has* been news, so here it is...

My right leg has been bothering me for weeks. The hip was the first to hurt, and then a pain in my right quad that, while not really intense, just wouldn't go away. I finally went to see my doctor about it (stop nagging!), but she told me what I expected -- it's a deep muscle strain, and that all that can be done is to rest it. She also knew that, at 45 days from race day, I wasn't really going to rest it, so she told me that I wouldn't do permanent injury to myself if I just kept running on it -- it would just hurt more. So I've been given the thumbs up to take stupid amounts of Advil for the next couple of weeks to encourage the muscle to heal itself. So far, so good.

Wil and I went for a run today, our first run together -- and my first run, period -- since last weekend. We ran an easy six miles down to Golden Gardens, huffing and puffing up the stairs to 85th, and then home. As Wil pointed out, it's not difficult to run these shorter distances, which leads to boredom. I guess that's why a lot of people decide to focus on speed or time, rather than just getting the mileage in. Who knows.

At the end of our run last week my iPod informed me that my Nike+ sensor had a low battery. Since I had this week off work, I decided to finally use my birthday gift certificate from Super Jock n Jill and buy a new sensor and some other running goodies. I didn't need new shoes, gear, etc., but picked up a couple of Christmas gifts for friends along with the sensor. However, when I got home and tried to link the sensor, I just kept getting a low battery message, and when I tested it, it wouldn't register any motion. Boo. But we did go back on Friday, pick up some new shoes for Wil to use up the rest of the gift certificate, and swap the sensor, no questions asked. While Wil was finishing the purchase, I put the new sensor in my shoe and went for a walk to test it -- I was relieved to find that this one worked. Hooray!

The nicest running news is that I met my "Girls on the Run" running buddy on the 17th at our practice 5K. I was really nervous beforehand -- would I like her? Would she like me? Would I be able to keep up with her? Because my original buddy had left the program, I had been transferred to a different school and a girl whose buddy had dropped out. My new buddy is Morgan, a very bright 4th grader who loves kittens and reading. She actually goes to a different school, so she's often late to the program -- she needs to get from her school in Wedgwood across town to Ballard -- which makes me wonder if she gets enough time with the other girls. I was also told that Morgan isn't a big fan of running -- but she loves to walk fast and to skip.

Morgan arrived late for the practice 5K, which meant we were behind from the beginning. But we set off at a good clip -- she is a VERY fast walker! The route was 4 loops around the neighborhood -- the idea being that if something happened, we didn't want the girls to be over a mile from the school. So we walked -- and skipped -- around the loop four times. The whole time we talked about books and pets and how excited she was about Christmas. I hope she gets the kittens she wants. Even nicer was the card she sent me a few days later, telling me she had a "super great time" on our practice 5K. Awwww. I'm looking forward to our GOTR 5K in a couple of weeks -- even if I have to wear a too-small orange t-shirt....

So that gets me caught up with the running news... oh, except that Wil ran partway home from work on Tuesday, which is very cool. I might have to sort out some way to run partway home myself.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

rain, rain, go away

The weather here has been strangely rainy -- as Wil said tonight, this is the first time since he moved here 3 years ago that Seattle has really lived up to its reputation as a rainy city.

But we managed to squeak in a run today -- 6 miles -- which is essentially our first run in two weeks. My hip just didn't feel right for a while, and we didn't run on our Disneyland trip (there's only so many times I want to run around Anaheim...). But I've been resting the hip pretty well, so I wanted to go out and try.

We woke up early; Wil got up and brought me breakfast in bed... but after eating it, I promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. We snoozed for, oh, 4 more hours... finally dragging ourselves up and out of the house after 11:00. Wil had a package to collect at the post office, so we decided to run an out and back on the BGT rather than our standard 6-mile loop.

I felt sluggish and a bit stiff, but eventually warmed up pretty well and felt okay. In fact, I felt great afterwards. Hours later, when we were standing at the Paramount waiting for Them Crooked Vultures to play, I realized that running had really put me in a good mood. I've been feeling extra sad at work -- anxious about getting things done and still using up my "use it or lose it" PTO, etc.

I came across this article the other day in the NYTimes -- basically saying that exercise helps make brains more resistant to stress. Clearly I shouldn't be letting exercise fall by the wayside when things get hectic.

Friday, November 13, 2009

kicks life cycle

Since I didn't run last night, I *did* at least pull out my running shoes, my old "backup" shoes, and the brand new pair in the box to have a look at them. The recent pair were way more scuffed and wornout that the backup pair. I realized that my recent pair had more miles on them than my backup shoes -- since the recent pair I started wearing 7 or 8 weeks before the marathon so I could break them in a bit. And I didn't actually replace them. Rather than downgrading the recent pair to "backup", I decided to retire the recent pair... and keep the backup shoes as backup.

Shifted the Nike+ sensor, shifted the Superfeet insoles, and they were ready to go. New kicks will get their first mileage on our trip to Disneyland!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

creaky old lady, and two sorts of buddies

My right hip has been bothering me all week... so much so that I decided not to run again today. Packing my running gear (and have already plotted out a 10K...) for our anniversary weekend trip to Disneyland. I hope my hip holds up!

Also, today had a check-in meeting with my "insight buddy" -- Rob, from my weird "leadership academy" training at work a couple of months ago. I think we were supposed to meet to see how we were implementing the things we had learned, but we ended up talking about running. Apparently I have inspired him to take up running and he's up to doing 7 mile runs. So that was a nice thing at work amidst the crazy ick.

But even nicer was the Girls on the Run "Running Buddy" orientation call last night -- I'm really looking forward to meeting my running buddy on Tuesday afternoon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

jury duty

Spent the last two days in a windowless room surrounded by other fine citizens of King County who had actually responded to their jury summons. For some reason, sitting in that room and being slowly driven mad by the coughs and one-sided phone conversations and people who talk while they type and the occasional calls to join a jury panel -- well, for some reason it was exhausting.

When I got home today I just couldn't face it. So, here we are, SIXTY DAYS from the marathon, and I didn't run. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.

What I will do tomorrow is transfer my Nike+ sensor to my new shoes, which, for some reason, has been beyond me for the past week. Baby steps, man.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

long weekend runs

Saturday we were supposed to run 7 miles... but the morning was blustery and awful. so we headed to the gym. Weird standing and waiting for one of the 12 treadmills to open up... 10 of which were being used by people who were walking. But we only stood around for 7 or 8 minutes before, wonder of wonders, two treadmills opened up side by side.

I felt a bit stiff -- pain in my right knee and that strange "weakness" in my right hip. Just didn't feel right. Started to get nervous about the run on Sunday, and was feeling worse and worse, so I wrapped up my run at 2.48 miles. The shortest run I've done in a very long time.

So today, when we had a 14-mile run to do, I was a bit nervous. Would I be able to get through it? I also noticed that our usual 14-mile route may not be the best idea on a day when the Seahawks were playing at home. We weren't in too much of a hurry to get out the door, so I decided to plot out an alternate route -- down to the Burke Gilman Trail, then along the trail to 65th, and then "straight" back home along 65th, with a tiny detour around part of Green Lake.

I knew that there would be a hill when we first turned on to 65th. And I knew there would be a hill from Greenlake to Phinney. What I didn't know was that 65th is essentially all ups and downs. Oops. Let's just say I did more walking than expected... but perhaps got in more hill work than expected. :)

This simply doesn't reflect the hills...

All in all, 14 miles. Do I feel like I could get up and run a marathon tomorrow? Um, nope. But do I feel as if I could probably struggle through one in under 7 hours? Yes. So that's good then.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

remember, remember, the 5th of November...

Stormy weather outside, Wil recovering from his earlier illness, and me on a treadmill at the gym watching the news trickle in from Fort Hood. Sad and strange day.

5 minutes warmup, 50 minutes of steady running, and 5 minues of cooldown for 5.55 miles. A bit of stiffness in my right hip -- I must have altered my stride to "protect" my knee (which felt fine today).

Too wet for any bonfire tonight. No toffee apples either. :(

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy birthday, Adam Ant!

Had a surprisingly good treadmill run after work today -- the hardest part was finding parking near the gym. Went upstairs and found a good treadmill right away and then got to work. 5-minute warmup, 48-minute run, 5-minute cooldown. Got a little bored, as I always do, but kept myself amused by watching BBC World News with no sound and listening to Adam Ant, my all-time favorite artist.

Amusing tidbit from the "Ant Liberation Front", who bill themselves as "The largest, longest-running independent international organisation dedicated to fans of Adam Ant / Adam & the Ants." Apparently, Friday, November 6, is "Wear your Ant Shirt to Work Day." Bless. Oh, and if you need a shirt, I've got them. Just let me know.

The nice thing about the loooong runs is that the miles add up surprisingly speedily. November 3 and I'm already 25% of the way to my goal? Awesome!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

rough weekend

Spent Friday home in bed with a banging headache that simply wouldn't go away. The head fuzziness wouldn't go away so I skipped the run on Saturday morning and spent most of Saturday in bed as well, rallying for a brief walk to downtown Ballard and then a relaxed evening at home with the trick or treaters. (Decent turnout this year, and lots of compliments on our pumpkins.)

So today I woke up feeling much better and excited to run for the first time in days. I had the 12-mile loop that I'd plotted out for last week ready, and the weather was glorious. So we got up, had some "sausage" roll, filled our drinks, and headed out. This is the first of many "downtown loops" we'll be making -- run to downtown on our usual bike route, then cut across to the waterfront, and run back along the trail through the sculpture park, past the grain elevators, behind the train tracks, and past Lindsay's house to the Ballard Bridge and then home.

Felt pretty good for most of the run, but a little stiff in my right knee and then ankle. Now that it's been a while since the run, I've got a bit of pain in my right knee, but all in all I still feel okay. Happy to have a rest day tomorrow.

I had a great October, running 77+ miles despite missing a couple of long runs. In November I've set my goal as 75 miles, knowing I won't get full runs in on our anniversary weekend, but hoping for an otherwise good record.

We're a mere 69 days till the half marathon -- which means we're 75 days out from the cruise! Yeah, I booked our Nassau shore excursion...