Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 in Pictures

Back at the track
Almost half PR on a long run

Four Courts Four Miler

Crystal City 5k

First triathlon!

Lots of time on the bike

Culpeper Sprint Tri

Centennial Lake swim

Morning run commutes

Army Ten Miler

Philadelphia Marathon

Still wearing shorts!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Treadmill (Almost) Half Marathon

Well, I did it.  I completed my long run on the treadmill on Saturday afternoon.  Here are some thoughts from my Christmas Eve treadmill (almost) half marathon.
Minute 0 – This treadmill can’t be set for distance, only time?!?  And it maxes out at 60 minutes?
Minute 1 - How many channels are there? If TV package no longer includes Fox I may kill someone. Most likely myself
Minute 3 - FINALLY I found the game.  And the Redskins are losing.  Excellent.
Minute 10 - This isn’t so bad.  Why do I stay away from the treadmill?
Minute 12 - These announcers are horrible.
Minute 15 - I hate the treadmill.  Could time go by any slower? It’s going to be  LONG afternoon.
Minute 20 - I should probably bump up the pace here...or just wait until 30 minutes instead.
Minute 25 – These socks are making my legs really hot.  Why did I chose to test them out inside?
Minute 30 - Speeding up!
Minute 40 - Why does Honey Stinger make this package so hard to open?  It says “tear here” yet it seems to be impenetrable
Minute 42 - I’m really not going to get this open. 
Minute 44 - Ugh. That took long enough. Now I remember why I always pre-tear the packages.
Minute 45 - Fruit Smoothie flavor is quite nice.
Minute 52 - I really wish the treadmill wasn’t stopping in 8 minutes.  It’s going to be really hard to force myself to restart it.  Also, why is halftime so long?  This is boring, though that Cincinnati touchdown was pretty cool.
Minute 60 - 6.35 miles done. Cancel cool down, push lots of buttons, please restart faster!!!
Minute 61 - I have to do this all over again and then some.  Can I pick up the pace to fit in 6.8 miles in this hour?  Probably not…
Minute 70 - Oh man, that Adrian Peterson knee injury looked REALLY bad.
Minute 75 – I should really practice tweeting while running. That would be a good skill for Goofy. Except I probably am not coordinated enough for treadmill tweeting.
Minute 80 - Time for another snack!  And I guess I'll pick up the pace again.
Minute 84 - #$!#%!@%  Almost went flying off the back of the treadmill.  Totally distracted by that 67 yard run by Toby Gerhart.  Why can’t the Redskins tackle?
Minute 93 - How did the Redskins blow out the Giants last week and look so bad this week?
Minute 100 - I probably don’t really need to run 13.1 miles.  I mean is there really a reason to run a Christmas Eve half marathon? 1.1 miles won’t make or break Goofy...right?
Minute 101 - But a treadmill half marathon just sounds so much nicer.
Minute 105 - No, 13 is too far.  And completely unnecessary. What do I need to get to on this leg to get to 12? Running math is so hard…
Minute 110 - I can’t stay on this treadmill another 9+ minutes. I should be able to do anything for 10 minutes, but I just can’t.
Minute 111 – And…5.65 miles. I’m done. Unfortunately, it appears that the Redskins are too.  This was not one of my better ideas.  At least I don't have to do a long run on Monday now.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Running with the Redskins

With it being a holiday weekend, my schedule is a little crazy and the only options I have for fitting in my long run are Saturday afternoon or Monday morning.  I'm hoping to get in a short Christmas Day run, but I don't think there will be enough time for 13 miles.

Saturday afternoon also happens to be when the Redskins play the Vikings in a game that is likely to be bad in every way possible.  Yet as a dedicated fan (read - this is an addiction I can't break), I still want to watch.  So I started to think, is it possible to get in my run and follow the game?  I determined there are two options.  I can run outside while lugging my giant old school Walkman so I can listen to the game on the radio or I can run on the treadmill and watch the game on TV.  I am not exactly on friendly terms with the treadmill and haven't been on one since sometime last winter.  But maybe the game would be enough of a distraction for me to complete my longest treadmill run ever? 

Love of Redskins > Hate of treadmill?

Now I almost feel like I have to try it, just to see if I can.  If Michael Wardian can run a treadmill marathon during an Orioles game, I can manage to complete a half during a Redskins game. Right?

And besides, it will offer plenty of opportunities for the running version of drinking games.
Take a gu every time Rex Grossman throws an interception (at least I'll be well fueled?)
Shots of water every time the Redskins defense gives up a big play?
Increase the treadmill speed if the Vikings score?
What else?

Really, the possibilities are endless.  And I'm pretty sure yelling at the TV is an excellent way to make new gym friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Halfway to Goofy

Well, I'm halfway through my "intense" six week training program for Goofy and I'd say for that for the most part, things are going well.

Here was the plan:
During the week-Run 2-3 times
-Pool run at least 1 time
-Rest day
-If I only run 2 days then I'll throw in another pool run or elliptical session
December 3-4: 10 miles (DONE)
December 10-11: 13-14 miles
December 17-18: 16-18 miles
And here's what I've actually done:
November 28-December 4
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Run 4.21 mi
Wednesday - Pool run 60 min/6 mi
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Elliptical 45 min
Saturday - Run 5.1 mi
Sunday - Run 10.25 mi

December 5-11
Monday - Run 4.1 mi
Tuesday - Pool run 70 min/7 mi
Wednesday - Run 4.1 mi
Thursday - Pool run 70 min/7 mi
Friday - Elliptical 45 min
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - Run 7.9 mi (with Lauren!)

December 12-18
Monday - Elliptical 45 min
Tuesday - Run 4.31 mi
Wednesday - Pool run 70 min/7 mi
Thursday - Run 5.15 mi
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Run 8 mi
Sunday - Run 17.35 mi, Swim 1000 yds

Other than the weekend of December 10-11, when I was planning on 13-14 miles and did just under 8, I've managed to stick to the plan.  And on that run my ankle was feeling somewhat cranky so it didn't seem worth it to tack on some extra miles by myself after Lauren and I had finished the trail loop.  I've decided not to push my legs with a 3rd run during the week so I've replaced that with either a 2nd pool run or an elliptical session.  All in all, I'm happy with what I've done and how well I've stuck to the plan, especially since there have been some days when my motivation was severely lacking.  I guess only time will tell if this was actually a good plan to follow!

Today my legs are a bit sore after my big running weekend, but I'm sure they'll be fine with some extra stretching and foam rolling.  Besides, with the races just under three weeks away, it's time to start my taper!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. In last week’s informal poll, the Incredibles were the clear winner for my Disney costume.  I’m going to head to the fabric store at some point this weekend and see what I can find to put together the "I logo" for my shirt and make myself an eye mask.  However, if I get there and find a nice dalmatian print, I may be switching to Cruella DeVille.  I ordered some red knee socks yesterday which will work with either costume. Of course after ordering them I noticed that the Incredibles wear tall black boots so I should probably wear black socks, but whatever, I’m going with it.

2. I’m still lacking the motivation I had during marathon training, but I’m still fitting in a workout almost every day. I’ve definitely found it harder to get up in the mornings, but on those days when I've stayed in bed, I’ve managed to rally myself and fit in a run after work. It’s definitely not my regular routine, but I know that at this point there’s not much I can do that will help or hurt my races at Disney (other than an injury). So I'm doing everything possible to avoid injury! I’m aiming for a long run of 16-18 miles this Sunday and I’m optimistic that it will go well.  Then again, if I stop at 14 or 15, it probably won’t matter all that much. I kind of like this "training" philosophy!
3. Despite the fact that I am not feeling highly motivated right now, I spent a fair amount of time last week on the Marathon Guide web site reading about late spring marathons. I think I finally have convinced myself that this is NOT a good idea (but feel free to tell me otherwise). Something like Eugene (April 29) would be too early and a race in late May/early June would mean that I was doing a lot of the longer runs by myself.  In order to set myself up for a strong 2012, I want to make sure that I take plenty of time off post-Goofy to recover and not rush getting back into serious training. 
I found out last week that I got in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, so I’m thinking that race plus a late spring half seems like a much more reasonable and smart plan. I know I have the potential to crush my current half PR and I think it will be fun to spend the spring focusing on a bit more speed than marathon training allows.  That being said, I’m trying to remind myself that I should really wait until after Goofy is over (and I see how my body handles it), to actually commit to anything.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Gu - Finally!

During our run on Sunday, Lauren and I had peanut butter gu for the first time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What to Wear?

I think I'd like to wear a costume for at least one of the two Goofy races. With the main goal of the weekend (other than to finish) being to enjoy myself as much as possible, it seems like the perfect opportunity to have a little fun with my outfit. Unfortunately, I'm not super creative, though I'd like to try. So I'm looking for some help. What character(s) would you pick for a Disney race?  The only real guidelines I have set right now is that I need to be comfortable and chafe free (since both of these races are long enough that could be painful - particularly if it happens on day one!) and I don't want to be a princess.

Here are a few characters I'm considering:

Cruella Deville

One of the Incredibles

Robin Hood or Maid Marion

Someone from Alice in Wonderland (Alice, evil queen, Cheshire cat?)

I own a fair amount of running gear in red, white or black, which would make some of these easier than others. I went through a running skirt phase about two years ago so I have a black skirt and a pink skirt.  I'm assuming that temperatures will be in the 50s, though obviously I won't know for sure until the week before the race!

What would you suggest?

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Goofy Plan

With just five weeks to go until the Goofy Challenge, I've come up with a general schedule to hold myself accountable and get to race day in relatively decent shape.

During the week
-Run 2-3 times (one of these might be a CAR workout. Hills start on December 13, so that will work well)
-Pool run at least 1 time
-Rest day
-If I only run 2 days then I'll throw in another pool run or elliptical session

Run both days.

In the past I've typically used Sunday as a cross training recovery day.  Since I'm going to be running both days of the Goofy weekend, it seems like I might as well run both days over the next few weekends. My plan is to do a long run and a run in the 5-7 mile range, just to get my body used to that schedule. I'm going to try to do the longer of the two runs on Sunday since that's how the race is structured, but I already know that won't work with my schedule every weekend.  Here are my general goals for the long run:

December 3-4: 10 miles (DONE)
December 10-11: 13-14 miles
December 17-18: 16-18 miles
December 24-25: 14-15 miles
December 31-January 1: 10 miles

I'm not going to worry if the next month looks different from this, but I find that I do better with some type of structure.  So I'll more or less try to follow these guidelines and hopefully will get to Florida on January 6 ready to do a lot of running!