Saturday, April 28, 2012

Momma's Got A New Pair Of Shoes!

I have been enduring pain on my left arch for a few weeks. It has been getting worse as my mileage has increased. It is the same burning arch pain that I used to get when wearing high heels too long. I brought it up to my physical therapist at PT yesterday and he suggested that I go to Fit Right Northwest and get a new gait analysis.

Went in this morning and told them my problem. They had me take off my socks and shoes and run on the treadmill with the video camera aimed at my feet as I ran at my typical pace. It was played back in slow motion.

They explained that my pronation is real, but doesn't merit the industrial strength ultra support shoes I am now wearing. He said he thinks I belong in a MID-control shoe. Not the ones I have been in. I explained I had been fitted with them last August and he said that makes sense. I wasn't running yet. I was almost 30 pounds heavier. I wasn't doing strength exercises. He said that it appears all my hard work is correcting my posture/pronation issues. Also, he said it IS possible I can even go another step down in the future to even less support with more hip alignment/strength and weight loss. He isn't so sure minimalist will ever truly be an option with the pronation but we can get real close.

ALSO - my feet are bigger than previously thought. He measured and said he would recommend a size 10. The black toe nail on my right foot is proof that my 9's might have been too small with all the hill work in my area. ;)

I had the sweetest sales girl. Her name is Kristen. She let me try on every single brand's mid-support shoes. Some shoes I knew instantly after just four steps were a NO! One had a heel that was too low. One had a side that was too high (and cutting into the ankle bone). Some shoes required a run around the in store track before I ruled them out or made them a 'maybe'. I really wanted the cute lime green Asics to be the ones, but they weren't even in the final three. I wanted the Mizuno's to be the ones too, but those had a heel that felt wobbly to me just walking in them. The pink Asics were one of the final contenders. So were some Brooks. Then she brought out a pair of Saucony's. As soon as I put them on, I told her, "these feel like bedroom slippers". To someone who has been wearing extra stability shoes forever, that was NO exaggeration.

It was then down to the Asics and the Saucony's.

Putting one of each on my feet, I ran down the street and back. The Saucony side felt better.

Then she alternated the brands and feet and off I went again.

The Saucony Progrid Guide 5's won hands down. They have a MUCH lower heel so it is designed to help midstrike! YAY!! I need all the help I can get. They have a wider toe box. They felt so darned COMFIE. :)

I got home and told the hubby I was going for a SHORT "3 or 4 mile" run. He said, "Yeah. Right."

This was within an hour of eating a full sized Hawaiian burger (no mayo). I had a stomach cramp in the first 100 yards. It hurt. In fact, it hurt bad. I can't remember ever having a stomach cramp running before and didn't know what to do so I slowed down and kept on going. The cramping stopped before the end of the first mile.

I didn't get home until after I had ran 7.32 miles. Guess the hubby was right. He knows me well. I always seem to take a wrong turn on my 'good' days.

I loved the shoes. Instead of feeling like I was being jack hammered on the side of my left arch, it felt like it was being massaged. It felt good. I did feel muscles being used that hadn't been before in my calves but nothing painful. I am totally stoked.

Normally, I would not go out and do my longest run in over 14 years in brand-new-out-of-the-box shoes, but.....

It just felt that good.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

50 Years Old Today

Took the day off from work, cleaned house and went for a workout run along Salmon Creek Trail.

Coach's challenge for today was: run 45 minutes and maintain a steady heart rate through out the run, including hills and declines.

That wasn't fun in the very warm midday as I kept having to go slower....and the miles increased.  It also didn't help when the sun decided to make it's appearance while I was out in the open. I ended up getting really warm and drank ALL 10 ounces of my Gatorade/ice/water mixture by the 3rd mile. I was almost walking by the end of the run in my attempt to stay at a level heart rate. When I downloaded the data from my Garmin I found that I was fairly successful in keeping it at an average of 172, going no higher and no lower than 4 hbm's for the entire last 3 miles after I warmed up.

A bonus of going slower was I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Not every run is meant to be a fast one. Right?

Weather: 64 degrees, partly cloudy, 74% humid
Average pace: 12:39
Best pace: 9:51 (*smiles*)
Slowest pace: 13:32 (*gags*)
Weight: 164.4

Aches and pains in the run: Just slight pulling behind the knee/upper calf on the little hills. I might still be recovering from that big hill three days ago.

Runners high moment: None today. Except maybe seeing a port-a-potty when I got there?

So happy to see this...

After the first few yards I turned and saw this...

And there were plenty of flower blossoms lining the trail...

A cute little bridge crossing a stream

Heading back west, several runners and a walker approaching. 
Lots of people were out today! :)

The waters came right up to the trail in some spots. Very neat. 
(except all that extra protein I was ingesting)

A shot looking to my right while running...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My 1st 6.2 miles - The Nike Commercial - Whining & Winning

Maybe it was because was my first day running in seven days. Maybe it was because I had been downing Cold  Flu meds daily and nightly since last Monday. Maybe it was just ONE OF THOSE DAYS.

Today it was supposed to be the warmest day of the year (to date) so I wanted to get out early. I slept in, instead.

Today I was supposed to take Forest Hill Park, but there was another hill I have been meaning to try I drove to that route. It is the same one I ran New Years Day morning during a race. Here is that original blog.

I ran the same 3.39 mile course as that morning and I SWEAR that course got harder. Not easier. I wanted to quit at 2 miles. I wanted to quit at 2.25 miles. Rinse, lather, repeat. It just seemed that it was a whole lot of uphill work in the 59 degree midday temps. Never ending.

The first three miles literally felt like the longest three miles I have ran to date. 

Then, I stopped and started walking back the way I came for the equivalent of about 4 houses and I started running again.

There were a lot of runners and bicyclists out this morning. The runners were all friendly smiles and waves. There were two totally separate girls that I saw - twice each - in my full loop and reverse. I suspect they too were doing full loops with reverses. Also, there was a set of girls running together that passed me. They looked so strong. Their cadences were equally matched. Posture perfect. Hair dry (mine was soaked).

They reminded me of the girl from the new Nike commercial - which by the way I LOVE. Here is the long version of it.

Speaking of bicyclists - is it just me, or - are bicyclists generally more anti-social towards runners? Today wasn't the first time I have smiled and flashed a wave at bicyclists only to receive little in return. It was really noticeable today as there were so many of them. Only ONE smiled and waved back. When I ride my Fuji on cross training days I ALWAYS smile and wave to runners.

Oh yeah! I learned something new today - Heart rate and perceived exertion are NOT synonymous!

For example, there are times my heart rate is up to 180 and I feel great. I can sing while running even. But today, running down hill at around mile 4, it took sheer guts to keep moving. My legs felt heavy. My shoulders hurt. Even felt some pain in my lower right side. For the first time in my life I even felt like I could throw up from the exertion. I looked at my monitor expecting my HR to be through the roof. It was only at 169. 

That was a new experience for me. Maybe it is the remnants of my being sick all week?

I drank all 10 ounces of my Gatorade during my 6.2 miles and I sweat so much that the brim of my hat was drenched. The back of my wicking singlet was soaked. My hair was dripping. I got home and weighed 1.5 pounds less than when I left even though I drank that 10 ounces and ate a Soy Joy in between. It wasn't pretty today. I am using my 24 ounce jug next time I go this far in warm weather and I will be diluting the Gatorade. It was too 'thick' for my taste when running.

My times? I ran the 10K in 1 hour and 19 minutes and 43 seconds. That is a 12:53 pace and includes the walk in the middle of the run.

Enough of the dismal! 

Here is the good stuff:

1:) I finished the 10K without dying. It was my first time in over 10 years.

2:) I took that hill which is 2 full miles of incline in the first 3.3 miles, without stopping a single time. I had to walk most of it the last time I ran it 3.5 months ago. (I will not dwell on how my average pace wasn't much different though)

3:) There was a lot of pretty scenery and beautiful spring flowers to enjoy.

Here are some cell shots from today's run - 

Cherry Blossoms were falling gently down 
onto me and the path

Some of the pretty scenery 

More pretty scenery 

They say if you look great after a run you are doing it all wrong.
I must have done it very right today. ;)

First half of the run 
Min Elevation 150 - Max Elevation 299
Total incline = 149 feet

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Latest Lesson - The Neck Rule

I haven't run since last Saturday. Today is Friday. I have been irritable and chomping at the reins for three days wanting to RUN.

Last weekend I came down with a bad head cold. Luckily, Sunday was a rest day and Monday was cross training day. When Tuesday came though, the cold had sunk deep into my chest with a bronchial like cough.

I did some research to see if I should run. After all, I had no fever and felt ready to roll....I just wanted to see if running would be good or bad. Would it weaken my immunities or possibly be a good thing and sweat out the virus?

What I learned is this - taken from this article at Runners World:

Symptoms below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, body ache) require time off, while symptoms above the neck (runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing) don't pose a risk to runners continuing workouts.

This was disheartening to me. But, I read a lot on the subject (and even wrote my coach) and it was universally agreed - Don't risk running with a deep chest cold or bronchial cough.

So, today was my first day without any coughing or bronchial phlegm.

I can't wait to hit the road tomorrow!

Additional links:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Lesson in Shoes

I have been increasing my mileage the last two or so weeks. Also, I have been increasing speed.

There has been a cost though. My feet hurt. The shoes are so tight across the width of my foot it is very uncomfortable on the road. Today, I felt pain on the on the outer edge on the inside of my left foot (not in or under the arch, but across the top of it).

When it was time to go to track for group speedwork after work, I drove instead to the shoe store where I bought my shoes. I also brought my brand new (still unworn) pair of the same exact shoe I bought on sale, in case I needed to go a size up since it felt like they were shrinking. The salesperson was so amazingly helpful. He first explained that the foot pain on the inside could be from last nights very intense hillwork/speed work. He checked my shoes and agreed they were too tight across the front width of my foot.

He also compared the wear of my used shoes (with 138 miles on them) to the new shoes. I am landing on the inner heel but rolling off the middle of the shoe. He said the wear is 'fine' and shows nothing to worry about.

Then, he fixed my shoes - are you ready? - he took the manufacturers inserts out.

He took off his shoes and showed me his were the same. I took them for a test spin around the parking lot and WOW!!! My feet were so happy. :)

I couldn't wait to try them out at home. I ran my fastest 1.6 straight miles as a test run (this is a recovery week) and here I am without a single foot complaint. I even took them on a 'hard' quarter mile loop in my neighborhood park to test for impact issues with the inserts being gone. No issues.

I wish I had thought of taking out the inserts a month or two ago. I didn't even know that they came out!

Funny the things you learn along the way.

Shoes: Asics Gel Foundation 10
Weight: 165
1.6 miles up and down in the hood @ a 10:57 pace per Garmin.
Weather: Very cool, refreshing light rain.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Diet? WHAT diet?

I rationalized today. ALL day.

Jelly Belly jelly beans are low fat. Right? One Lindor Truffle won't kill me, right? 6 or 7 robins' egg malt balls are a serving, and a serving can't do TOO much damage, right? And that scrumptious amazing chicken/veggie lasagna with white sauce? The one I had two large servings of? Well, it IS a holiday, isn't it?

This is my first full blown BINGE since I began running last fall. It won't happen again until the 4th Of July when my son and his family come visit from North Carolina.

Too bad this coming week is a recovery week. Today might take a week or two to burn off on a good week.

I am not standing on the scale tomorrow. I might not stand on it all week.

*slaps self on the side of the head*

Husband is under strict orders to take all the left over lasagna and candy to work with him tomorrow. :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Added 15% on my long run - 5.17 miles

Coach said that for my long run this weekend, to try for another full 4.5 miles and to do a recovery week next weekend. However, today was a BEAUTIFUL day. No clouds. Beautiful blue skies. Runners all over the place out there. I got the fever and went out for a 4.5 mile midday run along Padden Parkway Trail.

Not going to say it was easy, as it wasn't. I have been suffering vertigo (again!) and feeling queasy sea sick for the last two days and sleep has been horrid as a result. So my run today was something I fought for all the way.

Well, up until around the 4 mile mark.

Is it those Sports Beans? I only ate 2 of them at the 3 mile mark but I caught such a really strong second wind at the 4 mile mark that I just kept going. I had to FORCE myself to stop at 5.17 (when I passed my house) as I really felt like I could have ran a full 6 today and I have heard that you shouldn't add more than 10% a week to your distance. I knew I had already gone over that.

Three hours later I still feel pretty good. Some light burning on that cursed knee, but other wise fine. Nothing requiring motrin or ice (though I will ice just because).

  • Total miles per Garmin: 5.17 miles *
  • Average Pace11:54 (under 12:00 for 5.17!)
  • Weather: 56 degrees and full sun 
  • Disappointment: Neither the Garmin nor the MapMyWalk logged the huge inclines on the foot bridge/roads that went up high over the 205 Interstate freeway. Instead, both of them 'read' the ground beneath and showed the hardest parts of the run as DECLINES. They were most assuredly INCLINES.
  • Pride and Joy: I ran 5+ miles (8.32 K) under an average of 12:00! Maybe I can't call myself a 13 minute pace 5K'er anymore?
  • Weight: A water retained 167. Thank goodness for Fiona sports bras!  

ELEVATION: Incline from 214 feet to 328 feet (114 gain)

The weather along the trail

Pedestrian Bridge going UP over the Interstate 
(VERY steep climb that the GPS softwares ignore and count the freeway below instead)

*Total miles per MapMyWalk: 5.30

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Coach assigned us to go out and find a HILLY road and to run it. We were to try and maintain the same exertion levels going up as down and to watch our HR if possible to try and keep it level.

Finding a hilly road is not that difficult in my area. In fact, trying to find a flat road is near impossible. So, I chose the hilliest section I could find in my area. Here is a GPS used map showing the elevation I ran.

What I found interesting in this exercise was it wasn't going fast that was hard, it was slowing myself down that was. I had to do that a few times on the up hill climbs. Coach told us to walk if needed, but luckily, I was able to bring the HR down with a nice slow slog on the inclines.


  • I ran my first 3.1 miles non-stop run under a 12 minute average pace!
  • In fact, I blew it out the door with a whopping 11:35 minute average pace.


  • I shaved a full 7 minutes and 30 seconds off my previous time on this same route from four months ago. I still can't fathom that.  Where will I be in another four months? 


  • Although I am diligent about rolling, and my doing my IT band/knee routine every day at lunch, my right knee is now gently reminding me of it's presence. Luckily I have a PT appointment for Thursday already in place.


  • I will let the photo say it all. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I love the day after

Is it just me, or is the day after a successful long run the most wonderful day of the entire week?

I like how the day after, my legs feel - strong.

I like how I feel - strong.

Can't wait to do it again next weekend.