Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Mud Run

We (me, Patty, C) have always talked about doing the Mud Run. Well today, we sort of had our own version of the mud run.  We started from Peet's and ran toward the train bridge, which they have been doing a lot of work around.  When we got there it was really muddy from the recent rains.  Needless to say, none of us have nice, new shoes anymore.  It turned out to be a really nice, warm day- a complete opposite from yesterday.  My friends were more than willing to keep the run shorter (less than our usual long runs on the weekend) because I wasn't sure if my knee would act up.  Sure enough, it started to kick in during the last mile, starting with pain in the hips.  I'm really glad we didn't attempt to go further today.  I'm also glad we got the run in today and didn't attempt to run yesterday.  I feel bad for C's daughter who had a track meet in the storm.  I cannot even imagine having to run in that type of downpour.  I hope we have a better week coming up.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Good Sign

Today was the first day I ran since the weekend.  I almost canceled my plans to run with Patty becuase my knee was still sore at lunch time today, but I really needed to test it out and see how bad it really was.  Patty and I met at Central Park for a short easy run.  C had plans tonight and couldn't make it.  The first mile wasn't going so good.  My knee was hurting bad enough to the point where I thought I would have to call it quits, but I stuck with it until we stopped to stretch (about 1 mile).  After I stretched and warmed up, my knee started to feel better and by the end of the run it was as if it hadn't hurt all week.  I am happy to say that even as I sit here typing this, it still doesn't hurt and it actually feels better now than before I ran.  Maybe the run helped loosen something up?  I don't know, but I hope I'll still be feeling this good by tomorrow morning.  In the end, I don't even think our pace was all that bad.  Today was a good sign and hopefully Saturday's longer run will be even better.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mid-Winter Slump

I haven't blogged about the past two runs, because they were just not worth blogging about! It seems that all three of us, are in a slump. Our legs are dead, our breathing bad, and the urge to stop mid-run seems to be the only thing on our minds. This morning I met Marathon Mom at Lowe's for our long weekend run. C is spending the day in San Diego, so we headed out without her. We had already discussed trying to get in 10 miles, but if we were having a bad day, we agreed we would turn back early. Marathon Mom's hubby started the run with us, and kept us at a bit faster pace than we are used to, luckily today the legs seemed to have a bit more in them. We needed a change of scenery, so we headed toward Decoro, and took the far side of the trail to Copperhill. It is 5 miles, just short of Copperhill, but instead of turning around we headed to the bathroom at Cheesepark. It seems like the GU and the cold water combo, does a number on our stomaches. The stopping does make our run time longer, but we both agreed that the running was much better this week. We managed to run our 10 miles, in a 9.57 pace, which is just fine for a Saturday morning. I know that when the weather starts to warm, so will our legs, so the important thing to do for now is just force ourselves to get out and follow our routine. It doesn't hurt to mix things up a bit, and go in a different direction either, today it really seemed to help! We got lucky with the rain, I hope we are just as lucky next week.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Decisions, Decisions!

It was so nice to have the day off and go for a run with my friends C and Patty on such a nice day.  We met at Peet's and it took us quite a while to figure out which way we were going to go.  The story of our lives!  We finally decided to run towards the old train bridge to see if they are done working on it and if we can actually cross it (that's if no one was there to stop us).  Mainly though, we just wanted to run where we can feel the sun because it was still quite chilly.  We were able to cross it, but decided to return the way we came so that we could manage to get some more miles in.  Afterwards, we sat and had our coffees talking about the many changes we will be facing in the coming years of our lives.  The most stressful change being where to send our kids for college. Our run was almost a metaphor for our lives, many forks in the road and not knowing which is the right road to take.  I guess it didn't really matter which way we went, we would have accomplished the same objectives.  The sights would have been different and one may have been more challenging than the other, but in the end still getting a run in.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good and Bad

Today was a rare day off for all of us, so we took advantage of the opportunity and decided to get our long run out of the way. It was a little disappointing to realize that when we were just beginning our run, there was a group of SCR's that were already done, and enjoying their coffee. That was an omen for the run we were about to begin. It seems like our bodies know where we usually stop for water and to stretch, and no matter what we felt like running, we just had enough to make it to those stops. I really started feeling spent on the last third of our run, and even though Marathon Mom reminded us that it was only 3 miles back to Lowe's, it seemed like it could have been 5 or even 10 more miles, because in my mind I was done. We had to stop and walk with about 1 mile left because C's toe is really bothering her. I was happy for a reason to stop and walk because my legs felt like jelly, and they were truly sore. We got in a quick cup of coffe before we left to get all our errands done for the day, and even though the run took us much longer than we would have liked, I am sure my friends will agree that 10 miles on a Friday is a good start to a weekend. I know it is going to be easier, and also it will be harder, but that is what running is all about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not So Bad

I’m sure Patty would agree that today’s run was not quite as bad as she had imaged it would be. She had missed the last 3 times we ran the hill workout from Bridgeport and I think she was a little worried that she had fallen too far behind. We did our usual run from Bridgeport to the Helmers switchbacks into almost Northpark and she had no trouble keeping up with C and me. The thing about this run I really like is that no matter how awful I feel, it is something I know I can get through. The hills are just steep enough to make your heartrate go up, but short enough so you know you can make it to the top without stopping and then there's usually a nice downhill reward until the next uphill.  I'm glad we're back to working this route into our weekly routine.  Just like the apple core hill, I think we should eventually work in the water tower road into our run from Bridgeport.  When we run on the flat trails, I think it is just too easy to go for an easy run and not challenge ourselves, but on the hills you have no choice.  Even if you slow down your pace, it is still a good workout.  I just wish my body knew how hard I was working and would start losing some of this holiday weight.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Am Running

This afternoon's run, was pretty tough for me. I could tell right away that my legs were wobbly from yesterday's run. We agreed that we would only run 3 miles, but I wanted to stop after less than half a mile. There just was no pick up in my legs, and my breathing was labored. We started at Cheesepark and headed toward Decoro, we took the new sidewalk that runs between the trail and McBean and then took the sidewalk on Decoro till we got back to the trail. As we started back toward Copperhill, I just felt like I wasn't even running, and would have loved an excuse to just stop. Marathon Mom gave me one, when she suggested that in order to hit our 3 mile goal, we should add a hill that my husband calls the "Apple Core". We agreed, just to have a change of scenery and I will have to admit that it worked. I was able to get up the hill (very slowly) and then the next two that take us back to McBean. It has been a long time since I ran any hills, and it definitely showed today. I have some catching up to do, and it makes me so mad that I seemed to have totally lost the level of fitness that I gained with all the Marathon training. No idea what our pace was, but I am pretty sure that my friends are still taking it easy for my benefit. I am going to let my legs rest tomorrow, and hope that Wednesday's hill run will be a bit easier for me. Going up the last part of the hill today, I just kept thinking "I know I am going slow, but I Am Running!"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lost and Found

The South Fork Trail is becoming the trail of Lost and Found or in our case. . . the Found and Lost.  Not too long ago we found some keys along the trail, which were never claimed by the rightful owner.  Today as we ran from Peet's to Wiley and back, Patty lost her running gloves.  What is really weird about the glove situation is that we couldn't have gone more than a quarter mile when Patty realized that she had dropped them.  We quickly ran back to where we stopped and they were already gone within less than 10-15 minutes.  Now why would someone want a pair of used gloves that they found along a trail?  They are nice gloves, but seriously?  We were hoping someone had picked them up and maybe put them up on something more visible, but no such luck. Thankfully she had lost them on our way back and it was starting to warm up a bit.  We took it easy at a 10 min/mi pace to help Patty ease back into running and kept it a little shorter than our usual long run, which C and I certainly weren't complaining about.  It ended up being such a beautiful day and the coffee at the end wasn't so bad either.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Good Sweat

Today was the first day in over a week that I was able to run with my friends! It was cold out, and I didn't feel too motivated, but I knew that they would be there waiting to see how I would do after my surgery. Marathon Mom had warned me that even though they planned on doing a short 3 miler, it was going to have to be fast because C had some vague "plans" for the evening. We started from Heritage and headed toward Copperhill, which is my least favorite run of all. We quickly warmed up and took off our gloves and jackets, and I have to say I felt pretty good, like I could keep up. At the halfway point I was more than ready to stop for a minute and catch my breath. As soon as we turned around, we found out which way the wind was blowing (straight at us, and very cold) but since we were now on the downhill, it didn't seem so bad. We managed to do 3 miles at a 9.5 pace, and I am very happy with that. It was much easier than my run on Monday, and I didn't have trouble keeping the pace at all. I don't feel like I will be able to put in a long weekend run just yet, but we will go out, and see how far we get. It is nice to know that after a minor setback, my friends are there to help me get back to working up a "good sweat".

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Getting Better

Today C, Karen F and I ran our "hill" workout from Bridgeport into Northpark.  This was my and C's third time doing this trail and I have to say that it is getting easier.  We even ventured a little further to the second bridge almost into Northpark.  We ran it at a slower pace, which allowed us to run further and gave our muscles enough time to warm up.  As we were ready to turn back, we ran into a couple walking their 3 cats, yes I did say "cats".  I have seen a cat on a leash here and there in the past, but never 3 cats together.  I have to say that they were really well behaved, well at least two of them were. Karen was glad that the diversion of the cats made me stop to pet them, since this was her first time joining us on this hill workout and it gave us a little longer break before turning back.  As we get better at the hills, it is nice to hear that Patty is also getting better.  Hopefully we can all run together by Thursday, if it isn't raining again!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Up and Running (sort of)

It will be a week tomorrow that I had surgery to remove my appendix, so I felt that I should get out today and see if I could run a bit. I have to go back to work tomorrow, and I have literally been in the house, or hospital since last Monday. The doctor didn't put any restrictions on me as far as exercise and just said to do what I felt like I could do and to start slow. I went to Central Park with the hubby with the intention of running very slowly and walking if I got sore. It was a beautiful day, cool, not cold, no wind, very pretty. I wore my Garmin, to keep me from running too fast (I have a problem judging how fast I am going, and tend to try to keep up with whoever is in front of me). The Garmin did a great job of keeping my pace down, not that I was tempted to speed up anyway, and I stuck to an 11 min. mile, the whole way. I made it 2 1/2 miles and like I said kept it at 11.04, so was pretty happy to be able to get that in. Who knows what the weather will be like the rest of the week, but I may have to run on my own, if I am going to go that slow. My friends will be ready for another long run this weekend and I am aiming for that, but will have to see how my week goes. I can't say that I didn't feel the effect of my run, and luckily was able to come home and rest this afternoon. I really am looking forward to be Up and Really Running soon!