Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Comment and question

When I run any distance less than about 20 miles I only carry a small water bottle with me - with some Shaklee performance in it; 2 fruit leathers, and a cliff bar.

Generally, I don't get dehydrated or that hungry. I tend to drink a lot of water during the week (well try to); and the night before and the morning before, I really eat A LOT. Actually, really the 2 days before, I start upping my calorie intake. Then, after I finish my long run, I eat again, a lot of food.

I am on the fence about a 50k in western, NC (well assuming I get in). And, there is little aid - advice? I am looking at Camelback packpacks - maybe the "CamelBak Octane XC 70 oz Hydration Pack." I do have a camelback - fanny pack, but it is annoying and ride up (I have very narrow hips).

Thoughts??? I know - I need to hang out with more ultra runners - hahaha! to learn

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Relatively high mileage weekend

Saturday morning I woke up early to run Grendel before we did our Saturday volunteering. It was a horrific attempt. My mental and physical resistance was winning until Grendel ran up to me with his tail wagging, and I relented. To increase my motivation, I tried coffee and a small snack, but to no avail.

I stumbled down our driveway to start running. My legs were weights; they would not move; my pace slowed until I I was prodding along with grendel pulling my arm; my breathing was laborious. Anyone who saw me probably had empathy for someone who appeared so out of shape. [I think it was because I tried to start running before 8am].

Contrast that experience with Sunday. My run started around 1pm; i was on trails; the sun was relatively high; I started with gloves and a hat, but these were shed quickly. Grendel was by my side (most of the time), and we managed to run almost all the trails in the area to a cumulative approximately 17 mile run -victorious!

These experiences reinforce my knowledge of when I run better: afternoon!!!!!! (but I make exceptions, often, so i don't have to run by myself)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Week of good pavement quick runs

This morning my legs felt slightly stiff, and I did not want to get out of bed. (well the getting out of bed - I really like to sleep, so that is a per usual). My thoughts drifted back to review the runs of the week on pavement at a quick pace (my dog likes to sprint):
Tuesday: 50 minutes
Wednesday: 55 minutes
Thursday: 55 minutes
Tonight: (if my running friend does not bail) 60+ minutes

This will be a good mileage week. I will have to sleep some to get ready for some good trail miles this weekend. My recent goals: over 20 miles on weekends to prepare for some good marathons.

Will register for Twisted ankle - after the new year!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 - Grendel looking towards TN

Grendel and I are at the top of a Bald in Western, NC over 5000 feet with views of Grandfather, Mt Mitchell, TN, the app trail - really one of my favorite places.

Nov 2009 - Western North Carolina - heading up the Shut in trail

Lovely day - heading up the shut in trail in western, NC. Lovely trail that crosses the blue ridge parkway several times on the way to Mount Pisgah!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good GUTS party & low mileage weekend

After a 40 mile week two weeks ago, last week did not provide such success. The stresses were high, and my motivation to run was low. After several not enough sleep nights, I rolled into the weekend exhausted and unmotivated. So, I retreated to the couch. Saturday consisted of morning volunteering, and then some more activity (not running), and then the couch for netflix watch instantly bad movies & popcorn. There, I rested. Then, Sunday I mustered up enough energy to go the gym and run 7 miles on a treadmill. Out of character - but variety is good, right? At least Dirty Jobs was on & an MSNBC special about catching con artists.

Although I will probably not run tonight (need to plan my yoga class), Monday is usually a rest day anyway...

TO end: Great GUTS party on Sunday!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I can rationalize my not going over 2 hours to Greenville to one of my favorite races, or I can accept my human limitations. After a brutal week, and an opportunity to network last night, I came home relaxed and ready for sleep. The alarm went off; I looked up; reached my arm out and ended the noise.

I have to say - I am bummed, of course. I love the paris mountain road race with its 4 miles of climbing and then downhill and cruise to the finish. Again, as has been the theme, this week - ugh to life, which interferes with my favorite activity.

Next week should be more manageable, and the running should settle into its usual importance and focus in my life.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Smooth 6 miles last night

Last night's run was eventful, and, further, concreted my schedule of running Tuesday, and then Thursday through Sunday (so rest days on Mon & Wed - the nights i teach yoga - more on this soon). The run was an hour of exploring the streets of one of the small towns where I work. There is a meandering road, which quickly takes you away from the "hustle and bustle" of the small downtown to quiet streets and sparsely placed houses. There is a hill before the turn around - maybe 200 yards to the top, but good place to hustle up to keep the legs warm and the body churning heat. It was cold yesterday!

The Greenville, SC race is on the horizon tomorrow morning...We shall see if I make it after a Gainesville Bar Party tonight. I have been trying to catch up on sleep this week, but alas I am sleep deprived, so the sleep may win tomorrow morning when my alarms starts buzzing at me around 5:30am. And, if I could here, I would drop a footnote - I am not a morning person. not a morning person. One more time, I am not a morning person.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stress (physical, emotional, work, sickness, etc) and running

I have posted on this topic before.

As I also have posted, I love to run; I love the feel of any type of surface under my feet; I try to straighten my back, and with each step all my disappointments and stresses fade away. But, there are some days, where the week has just kicked me down so far, and I cannot muster the energy to lace up my shoes. This week has been one of those weeks: with a large memo due Tuesday, I was set up for a low mileage week.

Sometimes I wish I had a Phd in some useful science, eg kinesiology, or worked with professional athletes, so I could understand at a deeper level how the stress, eg from work, affects my running. (Or, in the alternative, how my previous week, etc etc affects my running). Today, for example, the weather is beautiful; the sky is blue, the air is chilled, and the trees are waiving me to come and run. But, my body is begging me otherwise. My physical self is screaming: go home after work; lie down with a book after a big comatose inducing dinner and relax. Relax all your muscles and breathe and then sleep many hours. But, there is my mind - it is a powerful unit of persuasion - you should run; it will relax you and reinvigorate you; it is beautiful outside - it torments me with "I want I want." But, my physical self is hunching over the desk and trying to concentrate on reading a case.

Then, my mind skips to my runs last week and weekend: they were easy fast jaunts on any surface and up any incline. My night running was fast and invigorating and prepared me for sleep. Not this week. My night run last night was slow and laborious. My legs were heavy; my back kept hunching over, and it was an effort to squeeze in 4 miles.

And, as the icing on the cake, I have one of my favorite races this weekend, and I was hoping for my usual age prize, but this year, I hope to finish with a reputable time. Ugh to life interfering with my favorite activity...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ode to the ups and downs

Today, I went running in Northeast Georgia in a rather flat place. It was a smooth and lovely 12 miles. Grendel ran well on a leash (heavy mountain bike traffic), and I sauntered along behind him. When I finished, I was not that hungry; my legs were not sore, and I was not completely trashed - ah the benefits of the flats. (sometimes this is a nice respite from - see pics to the left - my preferred running grounds in Western NC)

It is forecasted to be a cold & wet winter....

Friday's run was lovely. The air was not too cold around 5pm; the streets we chose were quiet, and there was good conversation. To repeat, most importantly, the temperature was not too cold. I did not have to wear gloves (I did wear a hat), and when I returned home, I was not too cold.

Contrast that description with my Saturday jaunt. Similar to Friday, it was late afternoon when we went, but we still had time for over an hour run. The sun was lower on the horizon; I was wearing gloves, a hat, and layers on the top. Now, as usual, I did not get cold while i was running, but my fingers did (I have that disorder (disease?) where your fingers turn white then a blackish color). I did sweat (what does Les Stroud - Survivorman you sweat you die) - uh oh. When I finished, I thought - I am cold. Really. So, I put on my Mountain Hardwear puff jacket (thank you Frugal Backpacker in Asheville), and we turned on the heat in the car. But, when I got home, realized - I was still cold. So, I began a warm up process: the removal of sweaty running clothes, hot shower, warm food, Patagonia long john's and blanket.

Is this the natural process after a run in the cold? I remember: I ran 2 hours in the snow at over 5000 feet last week while in Western, NC? I enjoyed that, but I think when I stopped running - I, yes, was cold - I have to say I miss the fall 60 degree days.

It is going to be a long winter for me...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Night Running"

I used to run at night in Boulder. After a long day on campus, I loved to run around the city at night. I remember, after I would finish my run, hearing tales of crimes against women on the streets where I had just run, but these stories did not deter me from my nightly outings. I loved the darkness and the clear sky (Boulder has many days of no rain), and the cars and dodging the people walking and the other obstacles...

Taking these memories, I tried to re-create this sense of wonder on the streets Monday night. I suited up in warm (and of course dark clothes) and leashed Grendel, and off we went. We cruised up and down the rolling streets, under streetlamps and around blind turns. This time there were more nerves than I remember... I surmised it was because - there were less people, less cars, less streetlamps, less . . . But, maybe it was just because I am not in my early 20's and as brave? Regardless, it was enjoyable; the moon was full; the streets were quiet, and there are advantages to less people and dogs out - less reasons for Grendel to pull my arm strongly.

I think I will try it again...