Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Grab Bag

I have a lot of pretty random things to talk about today.  That's not any different than usual, but I can't seem to collect my thoughts into a "topic" like I've been trying to do lately; so today is just a hodge podge of stuff.

First of all.  Like I mentioned in my last post I found a fantastic blog radio show/podcast called The Marathon Show.  I'll probably mention this show over and over from now on because I love it.  Monday's show was called Down to the Running Store.  ((I would link it, but I can't figure out how to do that since it's an iTunes podcast.))  There is an incredibly interesting section on proper fit of running shoes.  I HIGHLY recommend listening to this discussion before you go out and buy your next pair of kicks.  I harp on proper fitting shoes all the time because it's just about the most important thing you need as a runner.  The show's guest gives excellent information about the fit process that I've never heard anywhere else.

You should also listen to the show because in the intro the show's host, Joe Taricani, gave little ole me a shout out!!  (Thanks Joe!)

Running With Daisy

I had another GREAT run with Daisy Monday.  It was funny because I had planned to go to Hard Body's spin class and then follow it up with her Ab Torture with my neighbor (I'll call her Mrs. Rogers--as in "Won't-You-Be-My-Neighbor" Mr. Rogers---come on, laugh, you know you want to!).  I was all ready to go, with my fancy spin shorts on, but Mrs. Rogers hadn't confirmed yet when I got a text from Daisy asking if I was running and did I want company.  I quickly changed clothes and told her, "why yes, I'm running!"  We did a four mile road loop.  I was able to keep up with her for two miles then I had to throw in some walk breaks and slow down....until the last maybe 30 feet when I was magically able to sprint.

This brings me to the question---when I'm in the middle of a run and I feel like I just can't keep running anymore, is it just a mind game?  I almost always have a little something in the bank which enables me to sprint in at the end of every run...but in the middle I feel like I just can't keep going.  Am I able to sprint because I've walked some in the middle, or am I fooling myself thinking I can't keep running?  I had "decided" that it was a mind game when Turtle hit the wall.  I had "decided" that I needed to keep running no matter how I FELT...but doing it is a lot harder than "deciding to do it".

I think I need to go back and read my own post about Behaving in Accordance.  The problem I'm running into (no pun intended--when I typed that, it was a complete fluke...)....the problem I'm running into is the fact that I can "decide" anything.  "I'm going to run 10 miles today."  That would not be something I could realistically do so, just telling myself to behave in accordance with something I previously decided to do really isn't enough.

I think the key is looking at where I'm at realistically and setting achievable goals.  My main problem is that I'm an optimizer.  I want to make sure I'm training to the very best of my ability.  I don't want to do less than the very most I'm capable of.  If I'm capable of running without stopping, then that's what I want to do.  I think the real issue is that I really don't know exactly what I'm "capable" of.   Sometimes I surprise myself and afterward I think "WOW, I never knew I could do THAT!"  But, other times, like Monday with Daisy, I think, "wow, what a loser, you should have been able to do that, you just didn't gut it out."  But, at the time, when we were running and I said, "I have to walk", I really believed I HAD TO walk.   I think even if she had said, "you can do it, keep running" my mind would have told my mouth to say, "NO, I really can't" but is that true???  

The very fact that I'm questioning it makes me think it's not true.


Today I did (EASY*) speed work with Turtle.  We went to a local track and started out with a warm up lap.  I was pretty sore** so all I wanted to so was walk that first one.  Now, I have to say, I'm a pretty fast walker so it's not as bad as it sounds.  Then we sprinted the straight-aways and ...cough... recovered (read: walked) the ends.  I'm not gonna lie-it was TOUGH.  There's no way I would have given the effort I did without Turtle there to "compete" with.  Yes, I admit it...I'm competitive okay.  

We started our first sprint, and Turtle took off.  We discovered the couple on the track with us at 5am had two unleashed dogs--lab puppies actually--who just LOVE new people!   Consequently we didn't really finish the first sprint.  The second time she started up, I dug down, sprinted my legs off and flew past her (top pace...are you ready for this??  4:22!!!  WOW).  I was able to do that the second time too (run past her).  The third time she started a bit earlier than I did and I was never able catch her.  The fifth time she pretty much pooped which gave me permission to slack.  It's funny because you can see a drop in my pace from 4:33 to 5:28.   We finished off with a "slow" cool down jog.*** (Yes, we only did a total of about1.25 miles-(*)that's why I said it was "easy" sprint work--but we're beginners, cut us some slack, okay!)

*NOTE:  I was sore because I ran 4 miles with Daisy Monday morning, then another 1.5 with the NOBO group (in my Newtons) that night.  Then Tuesday morning I did Power Yoga.  I love those shoes, but they certainly work different muscles in my calves and ankles.  My hope is by doing some limited distance runs in them I will build up those weaker muscles which I hope will help make me a better runner.  I wasn't so sore I couldn't run this morning, but my calves weren't exactly happy to be going at it again.  ((I wore the Newtons for this morning's speed work, too.))

Advantage of Speed Work

**NOTE:  It was very interesting...when Turtle and I did our cool down lap, I thought we had slowed down to about a 12:00 pace.  That was my goal anyway. When I took a look at the Garmin data...lo and was actually an average of about a 10:30 pace!!  That's what speed work can do for you!  Just like hill work, it makes everything else seem that much easier.  It reminds me that it's all relative.  Slow for me isn't slow for someone else...and slow after running fast isn't as slow as it is when I'm starting from walking.  There are a lot of technical advantages, but that's the practical application advantage.


It's only Wednesday and, already, it's been a FANTASTIC week.  I'm heading to Hard Body's Ab Torture class, then I'm swimming later today with Flipper.  Tomorrow is a (much needed) rest day.  Friday I'm running six with Daisy and another runner*.  Saturday I'm volunteering at a Sprint Tri**.

*NOTE: This other runner {I'll have to come up with a name for her (at some point I'll have to make up a "Cast of Characters" list on the side bar so you can keep up with who's who)}...this other runner is a woman I saw at the very first race I entered here.  I vividly remember seeing her before the race and thinking to myself that I wanted to be like her one day....that thought was completely confirmed at the race.  She is a little older than me, very fit looking, very encouraging, and (if I remember correctly) took first in her age group.  I couldn't resist, I had to tell her just how amazing I thought she was!  A while later I met her when I volunteered at Cookie Dash packet pick up.  She is one of the ladies I ran trails with recently, and the runner with whom I ran Saturday's first two miles.)

I'm more than just a little intimidated to be running with two ladies I admire in so many ways, not the least of which is running ability.  They are both amazing women and fantastic runners.  I will undoubtedly slow them down, but they are going into it knowing that, and have welcomed me to come along (enthusiastically even!!).  I feel like the ugly/nerdy kid in high school who was just (sincerely) invited to the popular girls' house for a party!!!  I CAN'T WAIT!!  I need to pick out my outfit and make sure it's ready to go Friday morning.  Maybe I should get a new one.  It's important to look good for these kinds of things!

Well...I have a lot more words to get out, but Hard Body won't wait for me to get there to start the torture session, not to mention I've blathered on long enough.

Thanks for stopping in, come again real soon!


  1. Sorry I haven't been by lately...... not running much and didn't want to read running blogs and depress myself..... but I'm back in full force!

  2. Very interesting post, many cool topics. I thought a lot about the mind games, yes it happened to me and I understood that often the mind is stronger than the body, mainly during a marathon. Have a wonderful week end.

  3. as someone who worked in a specialty running store and own a pair of newtons (which are now curretnly on ebay) have to build into those. they 'force' you out of a heel/mid foot strike into running on your fore foot. this will indeed work new muscles and in diff ways. best way to break in those 'posts' on the bottom is to start out with a 1, 2 mile run and then switch shoes. after about 5-6 runs the posts should loosen up like they should and you should have acclimated to the new strike of your foot.

    good luck with them!


Don't hold back, tell it like it is....