Friday, August 21, 2009

Holistic Healing

Most runners you talk to will discuss how getting a massage should be considered "a regular part of training". Yesterday afternoon, I did just that.

I went to Symmetry, which is located in the health club S.W.A.T. I indicated my legs were sore (which they were), and got up on the table in hopes of feeling much better in an hour. I knew that I was sore, but the exact locations surprised me. I found that my hip flexors were sore, as well as my left hamstring, and right hamstring.

During the massage, there were several times I wanted to jump off the table, as I was that sore from my training. I could feel my body loosen up throughout it.

As I was being treated, the therapist and I started discussing Kinesiology Tape, and what it does, curious, I had her tape my feet, to see how it felt. It's common for muscle pain and soreness, and was used by many athletes in the Beijing Olympics. It is waterproof and sweatproof, and can stay on for several days. Needless to say, I'm curious, and I scheduled an appointment for taping more of my legs the day before my first 20-miler. If it works, I may have to consider getting this done before a hard run.

Another thing we discussed was baths in Epsom Salt. It helps the muscles remove the waste from muscles, as well as give the body magnesium. I've discussed with Erin about taking ice baths after a hard run, but I'm curious to know how the Epsom Salt works!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Marathon Training- Two Months in

At this point, I've been training for two months for the race. Here's where I'm at, then compared to two months ago when I started
-Distance: I started running around 20 miles per week, now I'm double that to nearly 40 miles per week
-Pace: I'm actually probably running my long runs faster, from about 9:45/mile down to 9:30/mile
-Eating: I eat nearly every 2 hours when I'm awake now. At a minimum, at least 2 granola bars is a snack
-Weight: Despite the eating, I'm down about 10 lbs. I anticipate another 5-10 leaving me by race day
-Work: Work has been picking up. I've been traveling a lot, and had a lot of office work.
-Injuries: I have some bumps and bruises, but so far, so good.
-General Feeling: I'm tired all the time. When I'm not tired, I'm hungry. When I'm not hungry, I'm running. When I'm not running, I'm working. Thats my life.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's Been a While

It's been a while since I posted a blog, and I've been putting on a lot of miles. Things have been going exceptionally well.
-Spent a week and a half in Chicago, ran the CARA training group with Erin
-Having unbelievably great mid-week Wednesday long runs
-Speed work is tough, but I'm getting it all in
-Ran 16 miles yesterday

Yesterday, I was tired when I woke up from a trip to Lansing on Friday night, and we ran from the Kal-Haven Trail. When I arrived, everyone had numbers on, as identification that we had paid to be on the trail. I found my group, and we started running.

We had to go nearly 3.5 miles between water stops due to misplacement of them, which was tough. Thankfully, the trail was shaded, which kept us cooler, despite the humidity.

As I turned around at 8 miles, I was having a tough time mentally, knowing we'd have a long break in-between water stops, but thankfully the people that I was running with kept me going. We kept running, and found that a water station had been added, which was helpful. I still had a tough time, but the group pulled me through to the finish.

They gave us bagels, bananas, and string cheese at the finish, which was great, as I am always really hungry when I finish running.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Year Ago- A Comparison

The last two weeks, we ran routes that I remember running last year, and cause me to reflect on where I'm at running wise.

Last Saturday's KVCC route I remember distinctly from last year. I hadn't had a good July of running (Saturday runs), and was debating whether I should run a Marathon or a Half Marathon. I switched up my morning food intake, and ended up running a great run, being focused on the run, and feeling better about things.

This year, I was able to cruise for most of the run, and pulled myself through a tough last 2 miles.

Yesterday, we ran from Plainwell for 15 miles. It was cooler again in the morning, and we ran through the country. I felt strong, and confident, and was pushing the pace. Similarly to last year though, I had a tough last 2.5 miles, which I attribute yesterday to not taking my GU at the proper miles. I still feel good about the run, and ran a good time. Last year, I was still worried about whether I could complete a marathon, and this year, I feel strong and good about it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finding my Groove

Yesterday I ran 9 miles. Just me and my iPod (with Kiss and Tool). I started off from my apartment, and headed towards downtown. I had $1.75 in my pocket, and a GU, my Garmin and iPod. I hit Michigan Ave. downtown, and headed back towards campus. I was cruisin'.

As I hit the WMU track, I saw an old co-worker. Being that it was 4 miles, I stopped at the track, grabbed some water, talked a bit, then headed off to run.

As I got through campus, I hit 5 miles, and a 7-11. I bought a water, ate my GU, and from there on, just cruised. I felt strong, confident, and was really into my run, despite being tired from speed work on Tuesday.

I feel like I'm really hitting my stride, and its awesome. I don't go out running wondering if I can finish the run, but confident, knowing that it can be done. That's a good feeling at this stage of the game.

Friday, July 24, 2009

San Francisco

Last week I was in San Francisco on business, then for fun. In between, I had to find time to run in the city. Being jet lagged from the trip, I skipped speed work on Tuesday, and ran 8 miles on Wednesday, while waiting for my girlfriend to fly in. I finished work on Thursday, and ate in Chinatown, and rested for Friday and Saturday of touring.

Friday, Emily and I went to the Golden Gate Bridge, which is pedestrian friendly. We arrive to the bridge on Friday afternoon, it was cool and foggy on the San Francisco side, and we were wearing jackets/long sleeve sweatshirts. Needing to run 3 miles for the day, I set out to accomplish this distance with Emily, as the bridge is 1.2 miles in length.

We set out to run with our iPods on, joining the maze of people crossing the bridge by running, walking, or biking. As I started running, I had my jacket full of stuff, and it was clunky, so I decided to carry it.

We were running and taking pictures of ourselves along the way, and enjoying being outside, and it gradually got sunnier. By the time we reached the other side (Marin County), it was sunny and beautiful out (see the above picture). We turned around, and headed back to the other side, posing for a few more pictures along the way. Finally, we had finished, with a nice 3 mile run, enjoying the sun, wind, fog, and scenery of San Francisco.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

12... or 13?

So today's run was to be 12 miles. We started at Gazelle Sports downtown, and as I walked out the door, it started thundering and lightning. Knowing that I had to get my run in, I headed downtown anyways, and by the time I arrived at Gazelle, it had stopped storming. When I arrived, they sorted us into our groups, told us the route and mileage, and dismissed us by group to run.

I ran in the 9:30-10:00 min/mile pace group, and there were four of us running together. As we started, it started to rain, but the humidity had lowered, and the rain was warm, so it was pleasant. By 1.5 miles, the rain had stopped (and never returned).

As we were running, there were few mileage markers out, so we had to use our Garmin's for the distance. When we approached the 2nd water stop, they read 4.5 miles. We told a group that was only running 9 they could turn around. About a half mile up the road, we saw the 4.5 mile marker. The same was true for the 5 mile marker. So we had a dilemma when our Garmin's turned 6 miles. As we continued on, we saw the 6 mile turnaround, along with a water stop, so we continued onward.

At mile 6 (or 6.45), we got some water, and 2 members of our group continued on. We headed back, still puzzled by the milage, and wondered what the Garmin would read back at Gazelle.

By this time, it was starting to warm up, but there was a nice breeze. Being wet with the rain (and sweat), the breeze felt good and kept my body temperature cool for the run.

As I approached mile 11.7, I was starting to get tired (both physically and mentally), and stopped to walk, leaving my running partner behind. I put on the iPod to help me through the rest of the run.

I finally finished at Gazelle, and my Garmin read 12.88 miles. I trust the GPS more than the map handed out at the start, so I guess I did almost 13 miles today!!!