Friday, May 29, 2009

Firing the Running Partner

Run Time: 1 hour...Distance: Unknown
Unfortunately, I am afraid I had to make a difficult decision yesterday. I think I have to fire my running partner, Duke (the dog). You see, he has been slagging lately. I thought that perhaps a few pep talks and some additional conditioning might get him in the mood, but nothing seems to be working. Every run that we head out on seems to be getting worse. At first we could make it more than halfway without him pooping out. Then it was barely halfway. Yesterday, we had made it 1/4 of the way before I started to see the signs. I thought surely I was just imagining things, that he was just distracted by the summer smells and wanting to slow down a bit. But I was wrong. We didn't even make it as far as we usually do before I had to turn around and head back because he just didn't want to run. The entire way back, we had to take a bazillion rest breaks. The mosquitoes and nats were out in full force though so I hated to walk. If you didn't know, the mosquitoes here are horrendous. I had not seen such evil mosquitoes until I moved to Minnesota. Anyways, back on topic. Duke got to the point to where he didn't even want to walk. He just kept pulling off into the grass and staring at it. I hate to tug on him too much because I can't imagine what I would do if I were exhausted during a run and someone was pulling my neck. But the bugs were bugging the crap out of me and Duke just kept staring at the grass. I tugged him a little bit and he at least did a sluggish run for awhile. Unfortunately, that run would have been amazing had I not had Duke. It was feeling great up until the point at which Duke got tired. It was in the 70s and the flowers were smelling beautiful. I just wanted to run.

Anyways, poor Dukie. I may still take him out on short runs around the block. Maybe some warm ups. But he definetly is not a fan of running long distances.

Duke, Andy, and I back in December.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Shoes-- Great Ride!

I couldn't tell you what day it was--but I finally tried out my new shoes sometime near the end of last week. The weekend was packed with events and this week hasn't really lightened up at all so I haven't gotten any runs in since trying my shoes out.

They actually seemed to work really well and I believe I had an awesome run at the gym. It is hard for me to remember last week so I'm sorry for the lack of detail. However, I do remember it was like 90 some degrees outside and the gym had the freaking door open. I was drenched in sweat and not too happy about that whole ordeal.

This weekend, Andy and I went camping at Great River Bluffs State Park in Southern Minnesota. It was absolutely gorgeous! We ended up hiking 10+ miles on Saturday clear up into the bluffs and were exhausted at the end of the day. Sunday we hiked up to the top of another bluff at nearby John Latsch State Park. Our new goal is to hit every MN State Park together.

I'm starting to think that training for the Twin Cities Marathon is really going to suck this year. I've had little time to do any pretraining and I am way out of shape. I can barely make it through 5 miles without totally wimping out these days. Anyways, I formally start training next week and I'm already dreading it. I have added in another class to my hectic schedule and so I won't be able to run on Mondays or Wednesdays because class goes until 9 pm after work. That and I still have Saturday class until the end of June. So, I guess I'm going to have to get creative with my runs and try to avoid getting burnt out.

On the GOOD news front, my roommate Amanda, (some of you may remember her as the blogger who never blogged) has decided to join the NF Endurance Team as well and has signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon as well. Sooo, hopefully we can keep each other in check there.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer is Here

I have so many announcements to make, I don't know where to start! I think I'll start with the weather. For those of you not in Minnesota, we are dealing with a bit of a heat spell. It was 97 degrees in the Twin Cities yesterday. According to Belinda and Jonathon Yuhas over at KARE11, that was the highest temp we've had since July 7, 2007 when it was 98 degrees. Anyways, I didn't get a chance to run in the heat yesterday for a number of reasons.

Somehow, I must be a magnet for getting sick these days. I acquired some sort of a cold near the tail end of last week. It doesn't appear to be too horrible of a cold because I haven't had a fever or anything. I've had a runny nose through the duration, but not even a bad runny nose. Yesterday, however, it decided to enter my throat and chest. Being that I do a decent amount of reading about running, I've seen a lot of advice that says you should rest if it is below the neck. So, I decided to take the day off running. It was extremely hard because I kept seeing runners out everywhere!!

Instead of running, I went to another running store, TC Running Company. I explained my situation with the Running Room and how they had thought I needed a low stability shoe. The guy looked at my shoes and quickly assessed that I should stay in a neutral shoe. I tried on the Vomero 3 and the Moto. As much as I really wanted to like the Vomero, it just seemed a little too soft for me. It was basically like I was running on a bed or something and it didn't feel quite right.
So I then tried on the Max Moto and it seemed to feel a lot better. Less cushion but not to the point where there is not enough. It fit to my foot well and I'm hoping it works out. It is not exactly the prettiest shoe in my opinion. I'm sure there are other colors available that would pop more but I didn't take the time to scope it all out. I don't really buy shoes on looks though so I can't really complain.
I'll hopefully be testing my new shoes out on the treadmill at the gym tonight. I still have an icky cough, but I figure I can at least get some running done inside. That and the treadmill would be a good place to try out my shoes and make sure they work right. Probably better since it is supposed to reach 90 degrees yet again today.
Update on Runs: I did manage to get a run in on Monday. It really wasn't pleasant. I'm not sure what my deal was. I had to walk like 2-3 times in a 4 mile run. My breathing was off and that could be because of my cold. My legs didn't seem to want to move at all either but I attribute that to having so many days off lately. I'm hoping I get some solid runs in next week because I am supposed to start training for the marathon on June 1.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"I've Never Seen That"

Sunday, I coerced Andy into stopping by the Running Room on our way to run some errands. I was hoping to scope out the new Nike Vomero +4 shoes as my shoes have been actually hurting my feet lately. Out of sheer curiosity, I asked the guy helping me if perhaps I might not be a neutral shoe like I was previously assessed. He had me take a few walks around the store and watched me bend at the knees. His face looked puzzled. He signaled to another coworker, "Come watch this. Tell me what you think." So I walked around the store again, this time 2 employees watching my gait. "Well, I haven't seen that before." "Me neither." I still have no clue what they are talking about. They decided that maybe I needed a low stability shoe. While looking for a low stability shoe, they signaled to a third, more experienced employee to help out with the analysis. I walked around the store, yet again. As I was turning back towards him, his head was turned to the side. "That's different. I haven't seen that before." He, then, said that I was somewhere between a neutral and a low stability shoe and threw a bunch of shoes at me to run around the store in. He watched me run in each pair of shoes and continued to hear, "That is definetly different." and then, "Those shoes aren't working." Meanwhile, I'm still clueless as to what is so strange about me. I eventually asked if it was something I could just fix instead of trying to find a shoe to fit my quirkiness. He said, no, probably not. He told me that I am evidently on the early stages of pronation. I'm not entirely sure what that means because I didn't know pronation could develop, I thought you either had it or you didn't. He didn't really specify whether I overpronate or underpronate either. Then, he said something like, "You pronate slightly and then turn back in at the last second of your pushoff." So I was thorougly confused. Anyways, they were attempting to correct this problem without overcorrecting the problem. He ended up telling me that out of all of their shoes, the Brooks Infiniti was the only shoe that would somewhat work for me. It just so happened that this shoe was also on clearance and not returnable. So, I put it on hold because I wasn't sure I wanted to purchase a $100 shoe without being able to return it, especially if it didn't even seem like a "perfect fit".

Now, I am going to have to visit another running store later to determine whether someone else sees this quirkiness that those 3 people saw.

I also went for a run on Sunday afternoon with Duke. It was probably my worst run with Duke ever. I had to pull him 3/4 of the way through our 4 mile run. He has run this route before with little pulling. I actually had to pull him up like 5 hills as well. And he isn't a light dog by any means. I actually enjoy hills these days, but pulling a heavy dog up the hill just made it so unenjoyable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rainy and Gloomy

Run Time: 30 min, 3 miles, Eliptical: 30 minutes, 150 crunches

Yesterday I was totally and completely dreading the Dreadmill. It was raining outside and ever since last year's incident with the hail and the storm, I've strayed away from the dark clouds on rainy days. I actually switched things up and ate before working out this time as well. Despite the fact that I was extremely motivated and mentally doing awesome on the Dreadmill, the meal I had eaten previously wasn't sitting so hot. I had pasta with marinara sauce and the marinara was stinging my chest. Anyways, I didn't want to let that stop me so I continued through until I at least finished 3 miles and then hopped on the eliptical which always seems to be a little easier on the stomach and other pains than running on the Dreadmill. I think I've decided that the whole eating prior to running thing isn't for me. It has to be at least 3 hours after a meal before I can even think about setting foot into my running shoes.

Anyways, today looks pretty gloomy as well. I know we need the rain, but I'm itching to actually get a nice outdoor run in. Every time it has been nice out, I've had other priorities calling me in other directions. I think I'm going to have to make out a "Rachel Doesn't Ever Stop" calendar just to be able to fit my marathon training in when it starts in June! But hey, I asked for it...and I'm at least starting to really enjoy my runs!

Oh and odd thing keeps occuring with MyPlate. It tells me that I need to eat like 1,000 more calories every day. I think the thing is a little off. Because I certainly don't feel like I'm starving. Maybe a little hungry every now and then but I eat a few carrots or some fruit and I'm good. At least it is a good way to track calories...not sure I believe their "calorie needs" computage though.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's a Small World

Run Distance: 3 miles. Eliptical 30 min. Abductors 3/15 @ 70 lbs, Adductors 3/15 @ 70 lbs

So, this morning I was in a hurry and didn't get the time to put any foundation on. I wasn't looking my best when I headed to the gym this afternoon and I certainly didn't look any better when I left after my workout. I was wearing the gigantic tech T that my dad picked out for me from last weeks race and a pair of running shorts. Anyways, even though I would have much rather avoided making a public appearance, I really needed to go to to Target. On the way, I discovered I needed gas. And this is where the small world starts.

Sighting #1: I pull up behind a white car at the gas pump and realize that the guy pumping his gas is a coworker so I say hello and hope that he doesn't notice that my shirt nearly covers my short running shorts so I look like I'm just wearing a gigantic shirt.

I'm off to Target after the strange sighting at the gas pump. I rarely ever see coworkers out and about so it throws me a little off.

Sighting #2:
I enter Target and scan the food section for something to eat for dinner. I see a familiar face in the food section, but not someone I've formally met. I believe that I saw Steve in a Speedo at Target with his wife. However, I did not feel like attracting attention to myself in an awkward situation post workout in the Enormous Tech T. So I moved on with my search for wrapping paper and food. I always figured I'd run in to Steve and his wife at some point because he does do quite a bit of racing around the area. However, I always thought it would be at a race, not Target.

Sighting #3
Anyways, as I'm contemplating whether or not this was really the pair I spoke about, another coworker from my department at the Libraries is standing in the front of a seafood cooler in a meat hat and greeting customers. He spots me and strikes up a conversation with me about work. He says he is working this part time job at Target. I take off once he has a new customer...

Sighting #4
So I'm walking around the clothing department in Target. I look over a few racks from where I am standing and I see a third coworker in the clothing department. This time I run away before she sees me because I figured this one might not even recognize me because we usually just talk on the phone.

Anyways, I thought it was kind of odd that I ran into that many people in the matter of an hour. Must have been a popular time to be out and about.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Tool

Workout Synopsis
Sunday I had a pretty good run with Duke. He wanted to stop and smell the flowers a bit more than I wanted to, but we covered a good 3 or 4 miles. I didn't bring my Nike plus to figure out the exact distance because Duke is kind of a hazard to run with and I wanted to be able to focus on him.

Yesterday I ended up going to the gym on a relatively full stomach due to some scheduling contsraints. This didn't go so well for running. I hopped on the eliptical first knowing that would be the better option. Made it half an hour and then hopped on the treadmill for about 10 minutes. Running on a full stomach was definetly not a good idea. My chest started burning and I got off after about a mile. Then headed for the bike and did another 15 min. I suppose this was a decent workout considering the full stomach situation.
New Tool!

Anyway, on to the more exciting stuff!! I recently signed up for and I am loving the Daily Plate . I have decided to start logging my meals in an attempt to cut down some calories and shed some extra pounds. The format is much easier than any other food logs I've used so I think I may actually stick with this one. The Diary actually remembers previous foods you've eaten so you can just click those rather than searching every time. It also has some awesome charts laying out your calories and food types. The LiveStrong website also has running groups too. If any of you are on the website, you should let me know so I can add you as a buddy!! Anyways, I think in order to say accountable with my meals, I am going to start taking screen shots of my Food Diary on Fridays and posting them at the bottom of my blog.

Have a great Wed run today!! The weather is beautiful here in Minnesota!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Run of the Mills 5k Race Report

Saturday was my first race of this running season. I wasn't really expecting alot because my runs lately have been pretty whimpy. BUT, deep down I really hoped that I could run this 5k faster than my last 5k.

The race was open to all General Mills employees and their friends/family. I was running it with my dad (who works for General Mills) and my little brother Joe. Joe very recently took up running and did a fantastic job at it. The race was at the General Mills corporate campus and was very well organized. They had lots of yogurt, bread, oatmeal bars, etc. before the race even started. They also had a huge inflatable jumping thing (what do you call those?!) for little kids to play in.

Anyways, Joe, Dad, and I lined up at the start line and took off when it was time. Joe, sped ahead of all of us. I thought for sure he was going to tucker himself out early. I quickly left Dad behind as well so none of us really ran together. The course was a little bit hilly mixed with a few narrow trails. I went out kind of fast because we had started near the front half of the pack. I was trying to keep up with the fastest of the bunch and it wasn't happening. I got side stitches pretty quick from going out so fast. I started to slow down before we even hit the first mile. I hit the first mile in 9 minutes. This was slower than my first 5k, but at this point I really didn't care. I was having a hard time with the fact that I wasn't actually passing anyone and I was being passed instead. I thought that we had clearly started way too far up in the pack.

Anyways, somewhere around midpoint, the side stitches started to go away and I started to actually enjoy the run a little more. We ended up on a small trail that was nice for scenery but kind of bad for running. The people behind me were still passing me, and I kept trying to get over as far as I could to the right but some people still didn't get it. One girl was right behind my left shoulder breathing super loud. I've never heard someone breath so loud while running. But she just kept breathing on my shoulder and would not pass me. I was starting to get a little bothered and kept moving further over to the right to the point to where I was literally running almost off the trail. She still wouldn't pass me. Finally after a good 5 minutes of listening to her heavy breathing, she finally passed me. I ended up passing her again later because she ended up walking. I hoped she wouldn't start running again--luckily she didn't get close to me if she did.

Anyways, I finished the race in 29:09. I finished 250 out of nearly 500 runners. My little brother Joe finished in 26 minutes!! Dad came in somewhere around 35 minutes. I definetly didn't PR on this course, but it was a fun race to start the season with. I even got to see the Trix bunny and Cuckoo from Cocoa Puffs.

We got a really nice Tech shirt from this run...which I am going to love training in this season. I will have more pics of the race up soon as soon as my brother sends them to me.

Oh!! And you have to take a look at the saftey pins they gave us!! I ended up poking 3 giant holes in the pink shirt I ran because of these dudes. They were HUGE!!