Sunday, May 27, 2012

My 1st 10K - The Tualatin Rum Run

I was nervous about this run. Would I be able to maintain a decent pace at the start and not burn out early? Would THE HILL eat me alive? Would I meet my goal pace of at least 12:52 minutes per mile? Would I stay injury free?

I could barely sleep last night. I drank a ton of water, then went to bed at 9pm, yet couldn't get to sleep until after 10pm. I woke up at midnight, and again two hours later. At 2:00am, I ate some turkey, swiss and Dave's Killer bread before going back to sleep for another few hours. When I woke, I drank my Odwalla Strawberry Protein Monster (link here) and quickly got dressed.

I was going to wear a tutu today, and brought it with me, but since I didn't see any others there with a tutu, I just left it in the car. As a note, after the race, I saw three women in tutu's. I will wear it at next month's race as that one is a costume race.

We got to the grounds and it was wonderful. First, you hear steel drums being played over loud speakers. When you walk up, you are greeted by a giant pirate figurine and you see tiki's and torches all over.

The line to get our packets and shirts was very short and fast. It took less than 5 minutes to get our stuff and put on our bibs. There were a lot of neat vendor booths as well for browsing about before the race.

There was 548 runners in the 10K race. My goal was to stay as far away from faster runners as possible because I still have no self-control in Starting Line pacing. Or so I thought! I stood way in the back and set my iPhone music to start on the song "EASY" by Lionel Ritchie. My friend Christine, who is really fast, was up with all the gazelles.

At the start of the countdown, I started the music on my iPhone, and pulled back immediately to MY pace and IT WORKED!!! I was being passed by a lot of people at the gate, but that was not affecting me. I kept pace. I thank Lionel Ritchie for that.

A speed walker passed me at the half mile mark. I never saw him again. At around one mile I started noticing that I was now passing some of those who had passed me. My monitor said I was still on pace, so I kept going.

At the first water table I pinched the cup (which I heard makes it easier) and still I ended up with water going up my nose. What a dork! I must practice that.

The path went through some very nice natural meadows and woods. The first problem I had was at just around 1.5 miles we started up a slightly steep hill leaving the natural area and going into neighborhoods. I only saw one person actually running this part. I then noticed my 12 ounce bottle of Nuun was down to just 4 ounces and I hadn't even drank any of it yet. I downed it all, then stopped running long enough to take my ampiphod belt off, loop my now empty bottle through it and put it back on with the bottle behind my back. Then I began running again. The incline went on for some time and here is where I started passing more people. My goal here was only to keep my heart rate level.

Going down hill was a nice change. We wound through some nice residential areas, then into some wooded areas. I was surprised to find the trail turned to dirt. Luckily, there was wood chips in most of the muddy spots. It was beautiful!!! I loved this section.

Somewhere in there, at 3.4 miles I ate my 5 SPORTS BEANS (link here).

There were bathrooms along the way (being as we went through park areas) but I was fortunate being able to keep going. Some had lines.

At the 4 mile mark my iPhone MapMyWalk announced my pace. At that point, it was 11:02. I yelled out "YES!" and fist pumped the air. I felt GREAT! (I suspect that was about when the Sports Beans kicked in).

Coming out of another area of the park, there was a young man directing traffic. This was where the 5K route and 10K route merged. I was about to smile and say "Thank you!" (as I always thank the volunteers), when I heard him speak on the radio: "I am seeing the last of the 10K stragglers coming in". EXCUUUSSE ME?!?!?!

I am having the race of my lifetime, and I am a STRAGGLER? That HURT! By the way, according to my placing, there was almost 100 others behind me out of a race with 548 runners so at least I wasn't alone.

Around the corner from him, was THE HILL.

THE HILL was not my friend. I made it most of the way, then when my heart monitor started yelling at me, I walked the rest of the way. Even walking, my heart rate didn't want to go down until I reached the peak.

THE HILL made casualties out of every one I was near. Not one single person in my group was running it by the time they got closer to the top. Even those that looked ultra-fit were walking it. My friend Christine (who was way ahead of my pack of stragglers) nailed it. She eats hills. She rocks.

I ran the rest of the way down. In fact, I ran paces of 8.5 to 9.5 for that mile. I caught up with two girls that I had been running behind the first few miles. I even passed them. My heart rate was a sweet 165. If my knee was stronger, I could have ran that decline at 7.5-8.5 instead. (Sports Beans again?)

Then I came back to the village area. My Garmin said I had already ran 6.2 miles though as I was entering it. Then, the trail in the village felt like it didn't end. I wanted to see the finish line and couldn't so I put it into kick gear and ran an 8 minute pace. That was dumb. My heart rate hit 183. I then had to throttle way back down. I didn't hit kick-gear again until I was approaching the finish line. Then I let it go all out and crossed it. I suspect that my finish photo (if they caught it) will be goofier than heck. I can't tell if I was dancing over the line, jumping over it, or what. But I felt ECSTATIC. Then, I felt wobbly. Luckily, my friend was there to guide me away as she handed me a water bottle. Gotta love her for that. I really felt wobbly. Isn't that supposed to happen only in Half marathons and marathons?

After we walked my run out a bit, and I downed a banana and water, we went and stood in line for our chicken. The young guys behind us were talking. I heard one say he can't believe how wobbly he felt at the finish. YES!!!! It wasn't just me!!! Here I am with the pirate again, after my 6.2 miles.

The race organizers printed the results and put them out for us to see. It said I ran it in 1:11:54 with an average pace of 11:12. This could only have occured if the race distance was 6.42 miles. A 10K is 6.2 miles, right? My Garmin said it was 6.38. I have never seen my Garmin be that far off. In fact, it was right on the money on the markers through out the race. hmmmmmm  Then, I got a text tonight and a link. It shows the same finish time, but a slower pace. it appears they shortened the distance to 6.2.

My Official Race Time:

01:11:54 for a average pace of 11:35 minutes per mile.

I am STILL EXCITED!!!! I totally beat out my pace on every single 5K race I ever participated in and I did it running TWICE the distance. Also, NO INJURIES and no strains.

Thank you Get Fit Live Fit for the great training plan.

Thank you Energy Events for a great race.

Here are a few more shots from the day - including that AMAZING hot chicken and rice dish they served and the guy who gave me the post-race Jamba juice that caused the most intense brain freeze.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pre-race Jitters

In 12 hours I will be en route to the Rum Run in Tualatin, Oregon. It will be early in the morning for me and I am not going to lie. I am feeling ALL kinds of pre-race jitters on this one. It is, after all, my very first 10K race.

Jitters include:

1) What if it rains really hard and I didn't wear my jacket?

2) What if I wear my jacket and it doesn't rain at all?

3) Will I have fueled adequately for 6.1 miles?

4) Should I carry my handheld fluids as well since I typically drink before 2 miles? I think so, but will it just be extra baggage I won't need?

5) Will my tutu be the only tutu there?

6) What if I have to use a bathroom (#1 or #2 - doesn't matter) between 8:30 am and the finish line?

7) Just how big ARE those two hills?

8) Will my IT band and knee endure?

9) Will I be able to refrain from the curse of poor pacing when around faster runners? It kills me every time!

10) Will I be in very last place?

So....going to be early tonight....going to try and sleep (HA!!) and going to try and not forget anything important in the morning. I will check in tomorrow post race.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


1: I am one pound from being in a new decade of weight numbers and one pound from my goal for Shelby's graduation date of 6/14/2012. YES! So close....

2: My first 'official' 10K is this weekend. I am nervous as heck, psyched out mentally after my run two Saturdays' ago, stressing the early EARLY morning wake-up to run, but still can't wait to see what my first one will be like and to see if I can beat myself and my fears by completing it at 1:20:18 or LESS.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not Alone Tonight

My training program is given to me weekly by email. Wednesday nights are 'Track Night'. However, those that meet together in a group do so an hour after work across town from me. I started going to the track between my office and my home a few months ago and I have, without exception, always had the track to myself.  I was ending my hour when the 'group' across town was just warming up. With my schedule, going to the nearest track is best.

Rain, wind, cold or shine.....
the track was always.......
mine all mine.

I drove in today happy to see the parking lot empty. But, as I walked up to the track I saw four adults stretching behind the big container by the track. They had parked on the other side.

I am not going to lie. I was really disappointed. I had planned on trying  a new workout called 30-20-10's (SECONDS!)  instead of my six 800's the coach assigned. But, I didn't want to try weird new things in front of others. So, I took off on my 800's.

The two men passed me so I moved to the 2nd lane. I gotta admit though that I found some extra mojo and umph tonight with these two men out there kicking my butt.

The two women just walked. One walked (as I was always taught walkers should do when sharing a track with runners), on the outer edge. The other woman though was walking all over the two inner lanes.

Then, an older gentleman showed up and he took the far outer lane and walked.

Then a woman and her daughter showed up to walk and they too, took the farthest outer lanes.

The woman walking in the inner two lanes literally jumped in front of me THREE times hearing me coming up behind her. If she had stayed put all three times, it wouldn't have been a problem. But at one point I had to do a funky high speed mid air twist to avoid collision and felt it in my bad knee when landing. Grrrrrrrr!  You would have thought she would have caught on seeing all the other walkers on the outer edges and got off the two inner lanes.

So - my track had seven other visitors tonight. I guess that happens when the weather gets nicer. The two men resulted in my having my best 800's yet. The one woman caused me to twist my knee.

I guess it is no longer "my" track but....I can look forward to some good speed work on Wednesdays now.

Might need a cattle prod for errant walkers though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hydration in the Heat - Thanks NATHAN!

Anyone else use camel-backs for hydration?

  • I usually ran with a 10 ounce hand-held bottle. As temps increased, I found it was too little water. Also, after 40 minutes, that bottle becomes annoying in my hand. 
  • Needing more fluids, I bought a much bigger bottle which did offer enough fluid, but after 6 miles, I hated carrying it even more than the small one. I was switching it from hand to hand the last two miles.
  • Frustrated with hand-helds, I got a belt with two bottles. The problem with this was that the belt had the pocket and bottles on the lower back. This required me wearing another belt for my iPhone (that I take in and out a lot on runs for photos) and it required my stopping to get and replace the bottles when drinking. SOLUTION: I wear the belt backwards.  I may look like a total dweeb, but I actually like that best but it is only 20 ounces combined fluids.

I sweat a LOT!!! I mean....a heaping heck of a LOT. I am usually drenched and can wring out my baseball caps after as little as 4 mile runs. I am training for a half marathon. I need a lot of fluids.

So, today I tried a camel back that I got in the mail today.

I LOVE IT!!!! I filled it up half way with ice. I then added a small bottle of gatorade and a small amount of water.

The down side is that during the first two miles, I could hear the ice cubes sloshing around.

But, this was a comfortable way of carrying a lot of fluid. I carried over a liter of fluid (it can contain 2 liters) without any discomfort.

  • No back or shoulder discomfort.  The straps are designed to prevent shoulder strain and even the weight out. 
  • There is a pocket big enough for my iPhone on one strap, and a one for my sweat hanky on the other.
  • Even in 79.3 degrees and 45 minutes in DIRECT sunlight, my drink stayed cold.
  • I love having my hands free.
  • It didn't bounce.
  • The front straps are breathable and wicking and are designed for women (under the breasts).
  • And the bonus! I could feel COOLING all along my back from the ice and wicking material between it and my back. It was still cooling my back after 46 minutes. My little waist belt doesn't do that. ;)

I will use my waist belt with the two bottles for my short runs and 10K's, but I now know that I no longer have to worry about hydration while I am training for a half marathon.

Yes, I sweat under it. But, I never felt hot spots under it.

Here is the one I bought: Nathany Intensity Women's Race Vest

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My First Dirt Trail Run - 6 hard miles

Totally unprepared for this one. It was THE hardest run yet. I had no idea dirt trails could be so much more challenging than asphalt ones. And I ran 6.13 miles on it.

  • Loose gravel and the occasional rocks, branches, rivlets, and a large fallen tree to duck under? Okay. I get that. It's a trail. 
  • Muggy sauna-like spots along marshy spots? I get that. 
  • Insect hordes to add protein to my daily diet? Gotcha. I am getting pretty used to that too. 
  • Countless little hills that offered steep up's and downs both ways that just eat at your hamstrings, quads, glutes and hip-flexors over and over and over for miles? OUCH!!! That kicked my arse!! Two of those stretches of hills registered on my MapMyWalk as cat 5 hill work.

I think that if I had run those same hills on asphalt I would have felt better. But when you add the terrain change and heat to those hills I was really really unprepared.

My heart rate hit 182 in the first 1.25 miles. I had to keep getting slower and slower and expecting the run back to be easier was a big mistake. It was harder.

I felt it every where in my body and for the first time had to stop on a hill mid-run and take a breather. I didn't feel bad about taking that break though. Every single runner excepting one shirtless guy that I saw when going out was walking when I passed them coming back. I wanted to walk, too. At one point, my Garmin said I was 'running' two quarter miles at paces of 14:08 and 14:20. I ran 7.3 miles two weeks ago and NEVER had a quarter mile split any slower than 13:40 and that was on a steep hill. This was just a SLOW day for me.

But I made myself keep shuffling and bopping along. I am PROUD about that. :)

Recovery took longer than normal. I had to do a lot of walking when I got back. Drank my protein enriched chocolate milk, stretched a little and walked some more before doing more stretching.

Yes - I got a KILLER workout!!!

Yes - I made it without walking!!!

Yes - somehow my IT band and knee felt okay!!! (yay to the new shoes)

Still, I don't think I want to run that particular trail again. At least not until fall or cooler temps. ;)

My weight: 161.4
Temps   :  75 degrees
Humidity : 22% (but I suspect it was more so along the water where I was running)

This is the lake/creek I was running along

This is a blurry photo of the better part of the gravel based trail. 
At half way between parking lots it narrows to a really narrow less level trail. 
(the girl in this photo and I kept passing each other until she turned back at the boat docks)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

189 donuts

1:  My weight when I began running was 188.6 pounds (August 2011) and today I weighed 162.0. That is a loss of 26.6 pounds.  That means that when I began running, I was doing so carrying around extra weight equivalent to the weight of 3 gallons of milk, or a large bag of dogfood. No wonder stairs wore me out.

  • I have 3 pounds to go to meet my June 14th goal, and
  • 8 pounds to go to meet my July 4th goal. (Not likely at this point but that is okay!)

2: Since September, I have lost the following;
  • 2.5" around my back
  • 4.5" in my waist
  • 5.5" in my abdomen
  • 4" in my hips
  • 2.5" per thigh
How oh HOW did I ever let myself go that badly? 2003 was a really bad year for me...but that was still no excuse to pack all that weight on and then to just let it stick around! 

3: I have run a total of 154 miles since New Years.

4: I am still slow but in the last 5 months I went from:
  • 3 mile RACE at a 12:49 pace, to....
  • 7.32 mile casual run at a 12:21 pace, and  
  • 4 mile casual runs at less than 11:22 (on several occasions).

5: I have gotten used to eating bugs. Well, mostly.

6: Since New Years, I have 'run' off the equivalent of approximately 189 donuts.

7: I learned that when you get a new STYLE of shoe, you really should show some restraint and not just go out and run your longest run yet in matter how awesome it may feel at the time.

8: In the last 5 months I have learned a variety of brand new words and/or alternate meanings for words such as:  IT Band, Rolling, I.C.E., Scraping, Fartleks, Pyramids, 800's (YUCK!), etc.

9: I found out how amazing wicking shirts and Fiona bras can be.

10: When losing weight, make sure you have properly fitted undergarments. Wearing ones that are too big while running can make for an awkward workout.

11: I know I would lose weight faster if I gave up my new favorite lunch, but I have been eating it almost daily at work for 5 or more months now. I follow a woman on here who Runs for Coffee. I run for big fat bagels with nut butter and sliced banana's on the them. And oh yeah - Jelly belly's. It's a weakness. 

12: I forgot to add one of the neatest things about running!!! MY MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS ALL STOPPED! I started having regular raging hot flashes throughout 2011 up until around October. They they got lighter and lighter with the more I ran. Now, I can't remember my last one.

Monday, May 7, 2012


After a cool spring, we hit over 80 degrees today, and I went out and ran in it after work.

On an asphalt direct sunlight....

And it was not pleasant. This is a surprise to me because I moved here from the desert and I was very active there. Today's humidity was 31% which is twice what the desert had, but still very low for here.

I had sweat trickling down the back of both of my arms before I hit the first half a mile.

My 10 ounce container was filled with solid ice and gatorade when I left but every ice cube was melted quickly. The sweat band in my cap couldn't keep the sweat off my face and out of my eyes by mile 2. I drank all 10 ounces of fluid by the 3rd mile and at 3.5 miles I was feeling as if my head was so hot from the direct sunlight/run that I HAD to take my netted summer cap off.

My heart rate started going up, up UP while my speed went down, down, DOWN so
 I cut my four miles short and went home - dehydrated. Ran inside and grabbed my BIG water bottle and then I downed 18 ounces of fluid on my cool down walk. All my clothing was SOAKED. Literally.

This is going to be a long summer if I don't acclimate to this. I signed up for another 20 weeks of the Git Fit Live Fit running program and we will be running every Wednesday at 6pm (hottest time of the day) through July and August, onto October.

3.78 miles
11:34 moving pace (doesn't include the two long stop light waits at Andressen)
Outdoor temp: 80.4 degrees
Location: Padden Parkway Trail - direct sunlight

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Adjusting to a Lower Heeled Shoe

I was warned that the significant change in heel drop between my old shoes and my new shoes (12mm to 8mm) might cause some unexpected discomfort. Most specifically, in the lower legs.

So first, the good news:

I have not had a single arch pain since I got the new shoes. That has been resolved. Completely. Such a nice change after weeks of ongoing pain that was becoming 24 hours long. GONE!!!

Now the bad news:

I ran 5 hill sprints last night after a short warm up run of one mile. By the fourth sprint I was feeling discomfort along the back of my legs that was almost enough to make me stop and walk. The pain was the back of the calves all the way up to the back of the thighs. Very odd. Then it stopped. I finished the sprints and the mile run back home.

Today I felt random pain. Once it was on my outer upper hip. Once the hip flexor. Once the left calve.

I went to the track for my 400's and on the 2nd lap I felt something VERY disturbing. I could feel what felt like my knee cap sliding across the top of itself? It burned too. I stopped and massaged my knee cap and when I ran again, that sensation was gone and remained gone. However, I then had a burning pain below the center of my knee. I had to stop after just my sixth 400 on a nice spongy school track. That was so frustrating. I ran 7.32 miles non-stop on asphalt and concrete last weekend and felt fine up and down hills. Tonight I am on a composite track, running flat and have to stop at 1.5 miles that had walk breaks every quarter mile!! NOT COOL!

By the top I got home, that pain was gone. (What is with these hit and run pains??)

Now, hours later with my feet up, I feel light flutters on the upper outside of my knee. Little spasms. This time, it is in the IT band area I am used to feeling stuff happen on. DANG IT!!!

I wrote the coach tonight for some advise. Should I switch between the shoes in alternating runs while I adjust to a lower heeled shoe? Cut my miles way back for now? HOW do you transition without causing injury?