Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/31/10--Mission: Accomplished

Today's run: 3 miles
Week to date: 7 miles
Month to date: 70 miles!

I did it! I did it!! I did it!!! After coming so close in July, I officially hit 70 miles for the month of August! :) I'm so happy--this is huge for me.
I had banked on this being the last time I ran before the race, but Coach Mom stepped in when she heard that and reminded me that I need to keep moving before the race, otherwise I'll have that icky "Ugh, I haven't run in a few days" feeling in my muscles. Good catch, Coach Mom! I'm still new at this whole thing, I guess I hadn't even thought about that.
In other news, two days in a row of no foot pain! :) The ice is helping a lot.

Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30/10--Hot Time in the Small Town

Today's run: 4 miles
Week to date: 4 miles
Month to date: 67 miles

It's been a hot stretch up here lately. If we haven't been breaking temperature records, then it has been close! Today we stand the best chance: there's a forecasted high of 84 degrees, and the record is 86.
So, how is this weather forecasting relevant to a running blog? It means that the run I went on this morning was HOT! It was already in the mid 70's when I left just after 9am, and it was hovering just below 80 when I got back after my 4 miles. Unreal. Thankfully, the Bill Nichols is fairly shaded, so while it was still warm I wasn't in too much direct sunlight.
In other weather news, it is T-minus 4 days and counting until the race, and the weather is looking kind of fall-like! This could be great, potentially. A cool race is better than a scorcher, right? I'm not too thrilled, however, about the prospect of showers. 13.1 miles is a long time to be cold and wet. Keep your fingers crossed that any rain holds off until I'm safely off the course!

All right, time to be productive! Have a great day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

8/27/10--To New and Beyond

Today's run: 5 miles
Week to date: 18 miles
Month to date: 63 miles

After reading a comment on this entry, I decided to give the trail here in S.R. a chance. What did I have to lose, really, and why keep driving in to Houghton to run when I have something right in my backyard? (Literally--I can see the trail from my windows!)
The trail is the Bill Nichols ATV and Snowmobile Trail , and it is a "multi-use ATV and snowmobile trail" that runs from Houghton to Mass City, MI. Despite my initial trepidation, I was pleasantly surprised with this trail! It was really nice--shaded, well groomed, scenic, and quiet. It was just windy enough to keep it interesting (and no super long straight-aways! Ugh--I hate those!), but straight enough where you could see what was coming ahead of you. Always a plus, especially with ATVs and dirtbikes going by. I actually didn't see many, but those I did see were friendly and shared the trail well.
As for the run itself, it was OK. I was distracted by some financial worries, so it was hard to stay out of my head and focused on what I was doing. It was also said financial worries that inspired me to bump up my run from the planned 3 to a longer 5--I needed a stress reliever, and 3 miles was not going to cut it.
I also am SO CLOSE to my goal for the month, and while, yes I know I'm supposed to be tapering right now, I really really want to hit it. This 5 put me at 63 for the month, only 7 until my goal of 70 miles! I promise, I will take tomorrow off, and I can get that 7 miles in next week.

I'm also thinking about life-after-half. This half has been something I've been focused on in one way or another for the greater part of 2010. It has been what has got me out the door to run, even on days when I just wanted to stay in bed or parked at the computer. It has inspired me to take better care of my body overall, from sleeping more, to cutting back on drinking, to making far better food choices. I'm in the best shape I've been in since high school. I'm a little afraid of what comes after, because I don't have anything on the horizon. I don't want to lose the level of fitness I have right now, but I know I'll need to back off the mileage for a while after this. *sigh* I guess I'll figure out what's next when I get there. In the meantime, 7 days until the big day--time to ride the last wave of this adventure!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

8/26/10--Giant Hills, Focus Off-Roading, and Lift Bridges

Today's run: 4 miles
Week to date: 13 miles
Month to date: 58 miles

I had what I thought was a great, somewhat hilly 4 mile loop figured out to run today. After telling Brandon about it, he suggested that we drive it just to check it out. He had a suspicion that the route would be one that took me up a giant hill that we can see from the highway when we drive from Houghton to South Range. Weeeellll... we start driving the route, and very quickly the side street becomes a dirt road. Then, the dirt road becomes a very washed out, rutted dirt road. Then, it becomes little more than a 2-track. After about a mile of this, we come around a corner to find that his suspicion was right. A picture of this is both on my Facebook and on my Twitter. We were both absolutely cracking up by this point, both at the fact we were basically off-roading in his little Ford Focus, and at the fact that I thought I was going to run on this trail. Who knows, maybe some people do run there, but that's not what I'm going for 10 days before my first half marathon.

Anyway, after that discovery I decided to head back in to Houghton to run this morning. I needed to run to the grocery store anyway, and I knew I could find reasonable 4 mile out-and-back run. I started at the park again, ran along the Portage to the far edge of Tech's campus. It was another glorious morning, though a bit chilly. The coolest part was when I was heading back, and I was able to watch the Portage Lake Lift Bridge go up as I was running! I've seen it quite a few times when I've been up here, but it's still fun to watch it!

In other news, my foot felt better today! It didn't bug me at all until right at the very end, and even then, it was just a little sore. I think icing it is definitely helping, as is backing off on the mileage a bit. I'm also only 12 miles shy of making my goal of 70 miles on the month. It's gonna be close, I'm actually not sure if I'll make it. We shall see!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8/24/10--The Mean Streets of S.R.

Today's run: 2 miles
Week to date: 9 miles
Month to date: 54 miles

Today, I went on my first run in South Range! It's a pretty tiny town, really your classic dying UP mining town, but on the plus side, there would be very little traffic to contend with, right? I created a little loop winding through the neighborhoods and side streets, and here's what I learned:
-The last part of Seventh St that loops back out to Baltic Ave is actually the Lutheran church parking lot and driveway
-Seventh St does not go all the way to Globe, unless you want to hike through someone's backyard
-Sidewalks, when they are present, loop the block only. They do not connect with the roadway, so you must jump the curbs.
-There are a lot of dogs in this hamlet. Including Frank, the mini-daschund. And, you guessed it, no leash/tie up. Oye.

Also, whatever was wrong with my foot last week is still there. Right now, I'm in a funny contorted position: my foot is sitting on a bandanna covered bag of frozen blueberries, up on the desk so I can ice it. I am both hunched and reaching trying to get to the keyboard to blog. Oye.

OK, food time!

Monday, August 23, 2010

8/23/10--of Huskies and heelers...

Today's run: 7 miles
Week to date: 7 miles
Month to date: 52 miles

It was a GORGEOUS morning in the Copper Country. Clear sky, sunny, and that perfect balance of warm and cool. Just fantastic. I ran along the waterfront trail, starting at Chutes and Ladders Park (I think the actual name of it is Verna Mize Waterfront Park, but I'm not sure, so I'm calling it what I've always heard it called). I went down, through Houghton and the Michigan Tech campus, and out to the Nara Nature Reserve Park, then back. The weather, the view, the trail, they were all great.
Then came the gosh darn dogs that chased me off the trail.
The first encounter was with a black and white heeler of some sort. The owner did not have her pet on a leash (seriously? No leash laws? Get with the 1990's, Houghton!) Trying to seem less threatening and avoid getting bitten, I eased off the trail and away from the dog, slowing almost to a stop. They pass me, and I'm on my way.
Halfway back, I see 2 young women on those roller skis used for off-season training. Obviously, these two were members of the Tech XC ski team. And, obviously, Coach never taught them about sharing the trail, because they were 2 wide, and ran me in to the dirt again. Gah.
A half mile later, I re-encountered the heeler. Again, in the bushes and at a stop to keep him from chasing me. Really?

The rest of the run was really uneventful. People up here are less likely to greet you on a run, which is sad. Sad, sad, anti-social Huskies and Yoopers. :(

Friday, August 20, 2010

8/20/10--Debbie Downer on the run...

Yesterday, I was NOT in a good mood during my run. That is actually quite the understatement, now that I think about it. I could definitely feel it, too--nothing felt good during that 5 miles. My legs were sore, I got a side cramp, my breathing never regulated. That negative energy was horrible.
However, I made it through the run. Oh, and I'm back in Marquette for a few days, so it was one last run along the trail where the half will go. There are only 2 sections of the whole course that I don't know inside, outside, up, and down. That really helps my confidence, and it makes it very easy to visualize the whole thing. I really feel ready for this, I just need to stay strong on my taper and make sure I'm taking care of myself in these next couple of weeks. By that, I mean getting plenty of rest, making my remaining miles strong, and eating as cleanly as possible. :) 15 days to go!

And, some numbers:
Week to date: 7 miles
Month to date: 45 miles (25 to go until my goal of 70!!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

8/18/10--Welcome Home

Well, I have relocated! I am now a resident of South Range, MI. :)

However, the work of packing and moving kept me from blogging my last 2 runs. Soooo... recaps!

8/13/10: 12 miles!!! :)
This was just plain hot. My clothes were soaked completely through when I finished. I did it minus my biking water boy, so I was dependent on drinking fountains around town. This was... OK. It meant no water until 2.5 miles, and no more after about 9. Again, I also used 2 Gu's, and I found that really helped both during the run and with recovery. Well, minus the dehydration. I felt like I had a minor hangover the rest of the day, and all together I drank: 3 big glasses of 1/2 water 1/2 apple juice, 2 big glasses of water, 1 1/2 bottles of red Powerade, and 1 Powerade bottle of water, and I STILL felt dehydrated. It was rough.
I also was playing with timing/pacing, and trying to keep my miles at around a 9:00-9:15 pace. Yeah, that stopped working after about 6. It was just too darn hot. All in all, I finished at about 2:05, which included stopping for water and 2 traffic crossing stops.
That was the last big distance run before the race! :) Now that I know I can do 12, I know I can do 13.1 :):)
8/16/10: 2 miles
Now relocated to the Copper Country, I headed out for my first run in my new area of residence. My left foot had been bugging me since Friday's run, and it wasn't getting any better due to the sheer amount of stair climbing and box lugging involved in the move. I really needed to get out, just to keep myself sane and get something accomplished. While I felt good about getting out, it was not good on my foot. I was sore the rest of the day. I'm in rest mode now, and I'm going to get out again tomorrow or Friday and see where it's at.

And now, mileage totals:
Week of 8/8-8/14: 20 miles
Week of 8/15-8/21 to date: 2 miles
August to date: 40 miles
Can she hit 70 on the month? Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8/12/10--Failing to plan is planning to only run 2 miles...

Yesterday's run: 2 miles
Week to date: 8 miles
Month to date: 26 miles

The original plan was for me to do my last long run, my 12 miler, up in Houghton with Brandon's Bike Assistance. However, I realized that a) there just might not be adequate time to take care of said run while I was up there, and b)there might not be time at all for me to do that run at all this week. This caused lots of lip chewing and calendar analyzing, because I knew I both really wanted to and psychologically needed to do a 12. If nothing else, I needed to get in a long run this week, maybe the 12 could be postponed to the following week?
Well, that last option is what I originally went with. I also decided to give Brandon a pass on the bike escorting so he could work on packing up his apartment while I got it out of the way. He found me a 9ish mile loop to do, and we went to bed, thinking the alarm would go off at 8.
Waking up on my own desperately needing to use the restroom, I noticed it was strangely light outside for what I assumed was around 7am. I checked the clock on the way back in to bed saw that it was 8:30. Ooops. Hurricane Lindsey then ensues, trying to get ready to squeeze in the run in less time than I had banked on having. I then realize that I didn't have any kind of gels or anything with me to consume while out there. Fail #2. Still undeterred, I head out, armed with iPod and hoping for the best. What I walked out in to wasn't the fresh, cool air I'm used to in Houghton, but a freaking steambath. It was already in the mid-70's and sickeningly humid. I made it maybe 1/2 mile before I realize that it would not be safe to do a 9 mile run by myself with no water and no gels (especially given that I'm used to training with them). So, I made the best of it and did a fast 2 mile, throwing in random intervals to get a bit of speed work.
So, now what, you ask? Well, I don't like to do long runs on days when I have to work, but I see this week I have little choice. My plan now is to wake up around 6:30 tomorrow and tackle this 12 miler again. I am going alone, yes. However, there are plenty of water fountains along the route I found, and plenty of places I can go should things go badly. It will be OK, and I can do it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8/8/10--Some Beginning's End...

Today's run: 6 miles
Week to date: 6 miles
Month to date: 24 miles

Well, a week from today I transplant myself from Marquette to Houghton. This means that I am in my last week of running here on the trails (and, also, the half-marathon course). It's bittersweet, but I know that this is 100% the right call for me right now.
I did my 11 miler on Thursday. Once again, Brandon was along for the ride, but instead of wearing his CamelBak, we handed off a water bottle as we went (earning us a compliment from a gentleman along Lakeshore Boulevard!) That, I found, worked MUCH better than the CamelBak, because I could take smaller sips and drink more at my own pace. Also, I had one Gu before my run and 2 while I was out there. It was probably more than what I needed, but I felt much better than after my 10. Another thing that I think helped was all the eating I did the day before! I had 2 big bagel veggie sandwiches, and then a Vegetarian Sub from Jimmy Johns, along with a ton of water.
The run itself, however, was very slow. It was 2 hours for 11 miles. Granted, I did have to stop twice during the first 2 miles to fiddle with (and eventually just tear off) the tape I put on my arches and ankles, but it still just felt really, really slow. Coach Mom, however, reassured me that with my goals, my physiological issues, and the fact that this is my first one, I shouldn't be too upset. And, besides, I've now proven to myself that I can run non-stop for 2 hours. Speed will come eventually.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Today's run: 5 miles
Week to date: 5 miles
Month to date: 5 miles

Gotta love the 1st, eh?

Today's run was just hot. Other than that, it felt fine, with some residual soreness from the 10 miler the other day.
Oh, yeah, that 10 miler. Here's a story for you.
The original plan was to do the 10 in Houghton. Well, it turns out there were big, nasty storms coming and a tornado watch, so we postponed it. I wanted to do it the next morning before we left for our trip to Wisconsin, but my bike escort wanted to wait until we were already there. I caved. Mistake #1, I think.
Mistake #2 came throughout the day. I tried to eat enough, and get enough fluids. However, the last substantial meal I ate that day was at noon EDT, and I didn't get out for the run until 4:45 CDT. Whoops.
Then, we arrived at where I would be running: Council Grounds State Park in Merrill, WI. Beautiful, yes. However, I thought the course Brandon found for me was 2 5 mile loops. No, it turns out I was going to be doing 4 2.6 mile laps. I was... well... less than pleased, but it was pretty, it was shaded, and there wasn't much traffic. Laps 1 and 2 felt really good. Lap 3 still felt good. Lap 4, the fit hit the shan. At 8 miles, my ankle (which I rolled the other day packing up my car) began hurting. 8.5, my left leg as a whole began locking up. By 9, my legs were really beginning to seize up. I made it through the last 1.4 miles, and finally stopped at the bottom of the hill where I began. I knew I was going to go down, and quickly... and Brandon was nowhere to be found. I began hissing things that would make a sailor blush, leaned against a stop sign, and began shaking and crying. I was pretty much miserable. Thankfully, about a minute later he came flying down the hill--apparently, I finished faster than he thought I was going to. He got me (slowly) back to the car, and we headed back to his parents' place.
So, needless to say, 10 was not the fun milestone the other long runs have been. I'm holding out hope that 11 will be better. Coach Mom and my dad are up at our cabin near here, and she said she'd be game to run that with me. :D
In other news, I officially registered for the half this morning! :D (Yeah, kind of last minute, but I needed to wait until the funding was there.) It's really happening, kids. It's really happening!!
Oh, and July total: 69.4 miles. ALMOST 70. Gah. Still, that's a lot of mileage. 2.5 times what I did the month before. Wow. Just wow. :D
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