Monday, April 25, 2011

New PRs!

I fell off the posting wagon, but I'm back with good news and bad news. The good news is that I have 2 new PRs under my belt! I've been working on upping my mileage, and I think it's been totally beneficial to my pacing. If you aren't doing tempo runs and speedwork, you're missing out! I've been following the advice of a fellow blogger and runner - here - and trying to train in a smarter way. If you are doing all your runs at breakneck speed, you might want to read what she has to say. I've read this advice in multiple reliable sources, and I'm convinced that slowing down has helped me speed up- as counterintuitive as that may sound.

On to the PRs! I ran my second half marathon on March 20, and set a new PR by 11 minutes! My new record is 2:18:xx. Is it bad that I can't remember the second count? I guess that's what happens with more races under my belt. I'll attempt a recap on here later this week. I will say that it was an incredibly tough course. I was forewarned, but I didn't think it could be any tougher than the Athens Half. Wrong! I swear it was endless hills. I didn't entirely enjoy it, and I would only run it again to see if I could best my time from this year.

My second PR was set 6 days after the half at a local 5k. I was told not to expect to PR in a race that close to a half, but I kicked ass! I beat my last 5k PR by 46 seconds, and I still felt a little sore from the half. My new record for 5k is 28:14! I managed to place second in my age group! This is why I love local races. I would never place in a larger 5k. To be fair, there were 10 ladies in my age group, so I think 2 out 10 isn't too bad. I think my goal of a 25:xx 5k may be possible this year, especially considering that my first 5k of the year was 31 minutes. I'm making fantastic progress.

Now for the bad news. I'm injured. It sucks. I'm in pain. I think the injury was caused by either too many track runs or too many treadmill runs. My self diagnosis is peroneal tendonitis. It started as a soreness on the outside of both ankles last week, which was after pulling 9 miles out on the treadmill. I'm convinced that my form is so horrible on the treadmill that I injure myself if I put too many miles on it. The pain wasn't enough to stop me from running 10 miles last week, though. I put in 3 easy on Monday and a 5 mile tempo on Wednesday. My ankles were sore after the tempo, so I took 2 solid days of rest. I was scheduled for 10 miles on Saturday, but I decided to push it off until Sunday and get in 2 easy miles to see how my ankles felt. I made it through the 2 miles, but I woke up yesterday to stiffness and a very painful right ankle. I currently have it wrapped and have been resting and taking Celebrex. I have a 5k this Saturday, and I was really hoping to get it in in 27:xx, but that is looking iffy now.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Here's my training plan for this week:
Monday- easy 3 mile run, 45 minutes yoga
Tuesday- Workout 6A, Stage 1 NROLFW
Wednesday- 5 mile tempo run
Thursday- 2 easy miles, 25 minutes yoga, Workout 6B, Stage 1 NROLFW
Friday- 45 minutes yoga
Saturday- 10 miles
Sunday- rest

Happy running!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Weight Lifted

Literally. I had a weight lifted off of me on my 9 mile run this morning. I bought a cheapie fuel belt before my first half last year. It's a New Balance that came with a small pocket and a 20 oz water bottle. Oddly enough, the water bottle that it came with cannot be easily put into or removed from the belt. It's damn near impossible to get it in and out while running. It gave the water I put in it a horrible plasticky aftertaste. I ditched it immediately for another water bottle I had in the cabinet and later for a Gatorade bottle. It never seemed to bother me when I was training last fall. I fretted and stressed over picking the right bottle before purchasing this one on a whim. It worked fine, so I wondered what all the fuss was over different fuel belts.

Now I get it. I strapped it on this morning for the first time since last October, and it was awful. My first 2 miles were slow and painful. My stomach was killing me and felt cramped. Luckily, I run a 2 mile loop that goes right by my house. I stopped after the first loop and threw the belt in the mailbox. I felt soooooo much better! Mile three improved by a full minute and that was with my stop at the mailbox added in. Out of the 9 miles I ran today, mile 2 was by far the slowest, so I think that really speaks to how terribly uncomfortable the belt made me.

Onto my fueling issues, which are related to today's belt fiasco. Up until this point, I've always used Chocolate Outrage Gu for my runs over 7-8 miles. I also have always used watered down Gatorade. This combo had really been irritating my stomach as of late. My past few long runs have been plagued with slowness due to stomach cramps and aches. I did a little research and realized that Gu should not be chased with Gatorade. It's a recipe for disaster. I was hesitant to switch to water since my stomach used to turn on runs when I would hydrate with water. I tested it out on a few shorter runs this week with good results, so I traded my Gatorade for water today.

I also decided to play around with different fuels today. I think the caffeine in the Gu was causing further stomach irritation. On the advice of a health and fitness board that I frequent, I went to Academy this week and stocked up on single servings of different fuels. I bought Shot Bloks, Sport Beans, Honey Stinger Waffle, and Mocha Flavored Clif Shot Gel. I tasted the Shot Bloks yesterday and they ended up in the trash. I had a serious issue with the texture, not to mention the weird taste it left in my mouth. I also tasted the Honey Stinger Waffle and found it to be rather delicious! It really fell apart nicely in my mouth, so I think it would be a good choice for anyone who prefers to eat something akin to real food on long runs as opposed to gels or beans. I tried the beans at the 2 mile mark today when I ditched my fuel belt. I think I have found my new fuel! They were delicious and so easy to chew while running. I had zero intestinal issues with them. It was so much more pleasant than having to squirt an icing like Gu into my mouth and wait for it to dissolve.

With all that out of the way, I have concluded that I will not wear a belt in my next half. Now that I am set with water, there's really no reason to carry it, especially with the problems it caused today. Although I lied a little bit because I may look into a Spibelt to hold my sport beans and phone. I've only ever heard great reviews of the Spibelt, so I feel confident that it would be a great choice. I have to say that I feel so free now that I've worked this all out! The thought of not having that fuel belt strapped to me makes me a little ecstatic! Happy Sunday!