Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lessons Learned

It was a beautiful day...Sunday turned out to be sunny and hot. I haven't run in "hot" this year yet and it showed. The course was much more rooted and rocky than I remembered it being. I twisted my ankle pretty good at about 8 or 9 miles in, of course just as I was starting to hit my stride again after a particularly difficult section that involved scrambling over a waterfall and some other ups and downs that were totally unrunnable. I finished, but I did very poorly by my estimates...here's why -

1. Dehydration

I did not adequately hydrate before or during the race. I don't have a water pack (CamelBack) but I'm getting one now (it's already on order). I've been out of this long distance running thing for so long that I've forgotten how to adequately plan for these things. There was no aid station for the first 17k and I ran out of water after about 6 or 7 miles probably.

2. Panicking

I panicked and gave up after twisting my ankle. It seemed like a bad one at the time so rightfully so I just thought of getting back to the start (the course was run on a figure-8 pattern with the start/finish at the center of the two loops). But I didn't mentally recover when my ankle DID get better. I should have started running again, I would have felt better. But then I transferred my panic to the fact that I didn't have any water. Looking back now it seems stupid...but I wasn't sure where I was and I was afraid of getting into trouble.

3. Being too hard on myself

Feeling like a total looser because I was going slower and slower and that my finish was way down low near the bottom of the list when I know that I can do much, much better. I did push ahead and finish...and I ran out of water again on the second loop! I only had a 20 oz. hip pack bottle...but obviously that is NOT enough anymore - hence the water pack that I'm anxiously waiting for. I haven't seen these trails in years...I shouldn't have expected so much. I do sooo much better on trails that I know well. So if I want to really excel at a race it has to be on trails that I've scouted out already, at least.

I was so angry with myself initially that I wanted to quit entirely. Hell, it'd be a lot easier to sleep 2 hours more in the mornings and just forget all of this. But then I thought about all of those great quotes that Olga had on her blog. I thought of this one especially-

What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better.
- Wendell Phillips

So I'm going to stop being such a big baby and get on with it now. And do things smarter. Onward, upward and better.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I had a back spasm that sidelined me for a day back on Monday. I stayed home from work too, which was glorious. I went to the chiropractor and 95$ later I felt much better. I only missed a day of running, but I'm supposed to be tapering anyway. And I am.

The next race is a 25k on Sunday. It's really a run through race for mileage and part of the build up for Diablo. I'm anxious to try out my POSE on it and see how my hill running has improved. This morning my run was the smoothest it's been since I've started POSEing...things are starting to feel natural to me now. And I keep getting faster - my min/mile average on my morning run was 8:06 I think.

And yay! The weather is supposed to be beautiful on Sunday! So I won't have to worry about bundling up and can just run in a shorts and a singlet. Yippee!

Good luck to everyone who is doing ZG this weekend.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Here I Am

I usually hate pictures of myself, but here I am in the kitchen before a run. Camera is on the counter.

Gettin' Faster!

Whooo Hooo! I just checked out my iPodicle running thingy because I KNEW I had some fast miles at the end of yesterday's morning run. I found a 6:52 min/mile. Yeehaw! This POSE thing is really helping me out afterall. And my overall run averages are in the 8-8:30 min/mile for whole runs. Here's to keepin' that up, and the training and remaining injury free.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Little Sore, but ....

Still working on the POSE method. It's going better now. For a while there I had myself all in knots thinking TOO much about form. But I think I'm finally reaping the benefits of my hard work. My calves are still a bit tight from the change in stride (I have to remember to keep stretching and to massage out the knots with my massage stick!).

I had a great run at Wunderlich on Sunday even though it was pretty hot out there. Luckily most of my Wunderlich run is in the shade of the redwoods....ahhhhh! I did about 13 miles. Every time I run there on Sundays I will stretch it out a mile and slowly inch my way over to Huddart Park on the connecting Skyline Trail. Movin' up that mileage, ever so sloooowwwly.

Congrats to Catra & Leslie on their awesome Diablo 50m runs! I was thinking good thoughts for both of you on that day. And Happy Birthday to Angie! (Good Luck at Zane Grey!).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Rolling Along Again

Hello everyone! I've been super buzy at work, and it's really hard for me to post from there. It's going better. It's just so different than my previous job.

I've been keeping up and extending the miles. Today I ran 11.5 miles in Wunderlich. Very hilly and beautiful. I loooove it there. I got rained on a bit on the way back down, but it hardly mattered at all.

I've been studying and implementing the POSE method of running. Wow, it's tough to radically change your style but even in it's imperfect stylings at the moment I've taken MINUTES off of some of my usual runs. A run that used to take me about 43 minutes now takes me 39. And I feel really different - the muscle soreness is much less after long runs. And when I'm running, when I do hit the sweet spot of the POSE method it just feels like I'm floating along. I'm at the point now that I can't revert to my old style, but I'm not perfect at POSE yet. But this is a good point - I'm improving and I've shed my old bad habits. Happily POSE makes running uphill much easier.

Anyway, on my run today at Wunderlich I saw about 5 deer including cute little spotted fawns. A vole sorta little creature, and the biggest gray squirrel I've ever seen. I thought he was a fox at first crossing the trail. And banana slugs, of course.