Sunday, September 23, 2007

Scary Stuff

I don't usually like to dwell on scary things but this really freaked me out this week and I thought it was worth mentioning here.

This happened Monday morning on The Rickenbacker Causeway which is a usual running spot not only of mine, but many runners here in Miami. I have written numerous posts here about meeting friends to run this bridge (the only hill in Miami) early in the morning and as a matter of fact, I am running here this coming weekend as well. I know Miami is a big city full of all sorts of riff-raff but it doesn't matter. This kind of thing can happen anywhere, I don't care how big or small of a town you live in.

You guys, please remember to be careful when you are out running. I know we run a lot of miles and feel like a bunch of bad-asses, but in reality we are easy targets running around out there. If you can't run with a buddy, stay alert and have some sort of plan in case something like this happens. Prepare how you will react and ALWAYS tell SOMEONE where you are going and when you will be back. I know I am getting preachy and we are all aware of the precautions we need to take, but c'mon. We never think something like this is going to happen and it is easy to slack off when it comes to common sense safety. This could have easily been any one of my running buddies here in town, so it is literally hitting a little to close to home for me.

OK, I'm done, sorry to freak everyone out :)

Other than that, this week was great. I got a few good weekly runs in, two gym days and a ferocious 18 miler. The South Florida weather came back with a vengeance, so forget everything I said last week about being used to the humidity. I lied. It was OK through Thursday, but Friday it poured so Saturday morning when I got up at 3:30am to get ready for my 18 miler (no, you read it right -THREE-THIRTY AM) it was 80 degrees and 91% humidity. I am pretty sure thats the highest humidity I have run in all summer. I really need to quit checking the weather channel as as I'm lacing up my shoes.

The run started at 4:15am at the hospital with Jeremy and we got back 59 minutes later (6 miles) to meet up with our Miami running groups. Then we set out for our 12 mile scheduled runs with them. Everything was fine until about the last two miles when I really started to feel the effects of the humidity. I had already changed my running shirt after the 6 miles because it was soaked, now I was soaked again from head to toe and my feet were the worst! No rain, all sweat. Nothing like running on wet sponges. Anyway, I made it back with the help of a girl in my group (Becky) who talked to me and kept me encouraged the whole way back. Thank God for her. We finished strong and at the front of our group.

Becky also talked to me about her bout with Piriformis last year that kept her sidelined the whole running season. She taught me some stretches that may help my "pain in the butt" from last week which was BEYOND painful by the end of my 18 mile run and all day yesterday. I could barely lift my left leg 6" off the ground without a searing pain running up my hamstings and right-side booty. After an ice bath and serious stretching the past two days, it's feeling much better, but I know it will come back after my next long-ish run.

Sigh. I love getting old.

So next week is my LAST long run before Columbus! Woo-hoooooo!! Bring on the taper!! :)

Monday, 9/17 - 5.65 miles/51:51 - 9:15 pace
Tuesday, 9/18 - Gym, abs, lift
Wednesday, 9/19 - 3.22 miles/28:03 - 8:42 pace
Thursday, 9/20 - 5.87 miles/1:01:03 - 10:24 pace
Saturday, 9/21 - 18 miles/3:11:04 - 10:35 pace
Sunday, 9/22 - Gym, abs, lift, 45 min elliptical

Total Weekly Mileage: 32.74

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pain in the Butt

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So, it seems that running is a real pain in the ass.

No, seriously, my butt hurts. The right side, deep inside the muscle. Well, not so much of a pain as a dull ache. It bothers me every now and then after a long run. I feel it after shorter runs too, but it goes away quicker. After longer runs, it seems to linger around for a few days. Anyone ever experience this one before? I think it has something to do with my hamstrings because when I stretch my right one, I can really feel it.

Oh, the fun we runners experience. I never even thought I could injure my butt, unless I fell on it in a drunken stupor (which I may have done...once or twice).

It could be worse, I could be Marcy. She talks to her broken crotch. Hopefully my ass and I will not be having any heart to hearts anytime soon. But who knows. I have an 18 miler next Saturday and if it's still acting up, I may have to sit it down for a talk.

Haha, sit it BUTT. Hehe.

OK, I'm done with that.

So, I got back into the swing of things this week and feel great. I got all of my weekly runs in, had a great long run this weekend and even made it to the gym today to lift and do an hour of cardio! I think the vacation helped as well as the two weeks off of long runs. My legs were getting pretty exhausted the last few times I ran before California and after two long-run-free weekends, they are feeling relaxed and strong. I think the consistent shorter runs (5.5-8 miles) during the week helped keep the fitness up, without wearing me down.

I have even gotten "use" to the weather. Yes folks, it took me FOUR LONG MONTHS, but I am finally dealing to the humidity. The weather is still as hot and muggy as ever, (yesterday was another record breaking high of 93 degrees) but this week I have run some of my fastest paces since the spring. I ran our usual morning 5.65 mile course at a 9:14 pace which I haven't done since MAY!

I also had an amazing 16 mile run Saturday. J and I started from the hospital at 4:30am and ran 6 miles before meeting up with our Miami Marathon training groups for our scheduled 10 mile run. It was great. I got to spend the easy begining of the run warming up with him, then spent the more difficult second half with a huge group that made the run fly by. I would also like to say (brag) that I ran this 16 mile run over SIXTEEN MINUTES faster than the first time I ran 16 miles just over two months ago. I also didn't need an ice bath, or really even feel that sore afterwards. I couldn't believe how great I felt when I was done.

I did however SLEEP for almost THREE HOURS when I got home which was soooooo awesome!

In closing, today marks the official FIVE WEEK COUNTDOWN to my first marathon!!!! I can't believe it is coming up so quickly. Only TWO MORE LONG RUNS before the taper crazy! Soon I will be in the cool, crisp Ohio autumn air with the crunch, crunch, crunch of leaves underneath my tired, weary, blistered feet.


Monday, 9/10 - 6.11 miles/57:45 - 9:27 pace
Wednesday, 9/12 - 5.65 miles/51:46 - 9:14 pace
Thursday, 9/13 - 6.11 miles/58:13 - 9:31 pace
Saturday, 9/15 - 16 miles/2:50:00 - 10:37 pace
Sunday, 9/16 - Gym, abs, lift, hour cardio

Total Weekly Mileage: 33.87

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cali is where they put they mack down...

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Best things about our Southern California trip:

1. Seeing Jeremy's parents and Dakota

2. Experiencing a 4.7 earthquake

3. Walking along Laguna Beach

4. Visiting with Andre, Kristen and the kids

5. Eating In & Out Burger for lunch on my birthday

6. Getting free shots from the bartender at the Strip Club in the gaslamp district (for my birthday)

7. Randomly touring the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum with J. It was way more fun than I thought it would be!

8. Getting surprised by Jeremy's parents with an upgrade to our room at the Hotel Del Coronado

9. Watching the sunset during happy hour

10. Eating lots of (good) Mexican food!

11. Enjoying coffee and scones on the beach with J after our 6 mile morning runs around Coronado Island

12. Running in awesome weather for a change (mid 60's in San Diego)

13. Surviving after running in record high temps (113 high in Riverside)

14. Watching the poor Navy Boot Campers run on the beach and swim in the freezing cold ocean from our warm balcony

15. Walking along the cove in La Jolla

16. Having nothing to do but go for long walks on the beach

Worst things about our Southern California trip:

1. Coming home

Yeah, we could have easily used another week.

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We did get four good runs in while we were there which is a vacation first for me. The first two were in Riverside, J's old stomping grounds. I learned two valuable lessons about Riverside while I was running.

1. Riverside is VERY hot (113 degrees as a high)

2. Riverside is A LOT hillier than it looks

Yes, we somehow managed to find the one place on earth hotter than Miami in August to run in. We did two 7.5 mile run while we were there and they were no fun.

However, running around Coronado was awesome! The weather was overcast in the morning so no blinding sun. The temps were perfect (mid to upper 60's). The course was beautiful!!! We found a 6.1 mile loop that circled the entire island. It was a great way to see everything in under an hour!

The course started literally underneath our balcony on a bike path. We ran next to the hotel, along the ocean, past the Naval Base, through a bunch of quaint neighborhoods, along the bay overlooking the San Diego skyline, though parks, under the Coronado bridge, along the golf course and finished through a neighborhood with huge gorgeous homes. Our whole running conversation consisted of:

"Oh my gosh, look at how cute that house is!"

"I can't believe how nice the weather is!"

"Look at that beautiful view of the ocean/bay/skyline/bridge/golfcourse"

Yeah, it was tough all right.

Sunday, 9/02 - 7.57 miles / 1:17:11 - 10:11 pace
Monday, 9/03 - 7.57 miles/1:16:28 - 10:06 pace
Tuesday, 9/04 - MY BIRTHDAY = NO RUNNING!! ;)
Wednesday, 9/05 - 6.24 miles/1:00:54 - 9:45 pace
Thursday, 9/06 - 6.24 miles/1:00:12 - 9:38 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 27.62

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