Sunday, August 22, 2010

From NR: Haven't we been through this already?

Dear Left Knee,
I see you're still upset with me, choosing to voice your displeasure around mile 15 of an otherwise great 17 mile run. I'm sorry to hear this. Can we maybe talk about it instead of you just taking it out on me? Did you want more icing? No more yoga? A slower jump in mileage?

Yeah. I hit the Osaugie and Tri-Corridor trail with Leslie for 17 miles of fun on Saturday. I think it's good to do and I highly recommend hitting the Corridor at some point to all who are running Whistlestop. It's just nice to remember before the race what the surface you're going to be dealing with is like. I had been starting to worry about more gravel than there is and was pleasantly reminded of how nice the surface is. And also sometimes reminded of the single file running down the right hand side that went on when there were soft spots . . .

Well, my knee was vaguely annoyed throughout the whole thing. It didn't really hurt, but it had that feeling where I was aware of it and you shouldn't be aware of your knee while running, it should just be there. I had a mostly lovely run, though, even with how humid it was - the fog never really lifted and I'm actually pretty grateful for that since if the sun had come out during the run, it would have been hot AND humid. So it was hard to breathe at times but I guess that's what comes with summer.

A couple miles from the end, though, my knee started really hurting. Not enough to need to walk but enough to make me think about it. I didn't need to gimp on it and since that's my measure of needing to walk, I kept going. Turns out trying to slow down made it hurt worse so I don't think the cause was us boogieing our way along after the turnaround at goal pace or faster. Though, it WAS better to slow down and sort of squat more on the uphills. Very strange. I went home and iced it and it behaved walking around so I guess I'll go back to icing after all my runs.

So . . . now what? I'm scheduled for a 20 this coming weekend but when I whined about that, Leslie's had a very reasonable response along the lines of "would you rather run the 20 and not be able to do Whistlestop or do one less 20 and be fine at Whistlestop?" Hmmmmm. Excellent point. At this point, I'm not sure if it's something I should be worried about or if it's still annoyed from all the sudden kneeling and twisting at yoga when I've barely kneeled at all since February or March. So I guess it's another week of paying attention to how the knee feels and I'll probably make the long run decision later in the week. I'm about to head out for some trails so we'll see how that goes!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

From NR: Treadmill?!

Today I experienced something that I don't think I've ever encountered before . . .

I wanted to run on the treadmill. It was beautiful outside and I did my easy 3 miles inside. On a treadmill. Voluntarily.

I know. What's wrong with me, huh?

Actually, I think it was part making sure I could stop if my knee was pissed and part not wanting to run up Chester today with the un-eveness and not knowing where 3 miles was at. It ended up being fairly nice, though. Sometimes it's good to force myself through a treadmill since it's much harder for me than it should be.

So something else that was new for me - I went to an official yoga class for the first time on Saturday. My sister goes every Saturday and since I was visiting her for the weekend, I got to go along. It was actually really nice. It was two hours long and I didn't even notice, I thought it was more like one hour. Turns out yoga is not so good for my knee though - lots of kneeling and I think too much twisting the leg out and holding. The kneeling I knew was a problem right away and made sure to kneel on a blanket and try to kneel uneven, keeping less weight on my left knee but I didn't really think about the twisting at all. So my knee was rather unhappy with me the next morning. Which axes my plans to check out yoga classes at the Fitness Center. I did look back into Pilates, though, and am annoyed to only find a morning class. Maybe there'll be a different schedule come fall.

So once my knee made some noise, I opted for being smart (yay, Sam!) and took a few days off to make sure it wouldn't freak out on me too much. My knee being unhappy could also be partially due to a jump in mileage I may have just done, too . . . I went for a test run yesterday and things seemed pretty good so I decided on a short run today, tomorrow off and go back to my scheduled long run on Saturday.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

From NR: So many races!

I had my eye on several different races this weekend: Wildwoods 25K up at Itasca State Park, Fisherman's Picnic 5 mile trail race in Grand Marais, Run Like an Animal here at the zoo, the Bark Point 10K in Herbster (near Kyle's parents) and the Brule River Lions 5 mile!

That's a lot of races! Of course, I worked both days this weekend so there ended up being no racing for me. Which is just as well since I don't know what I would have picked as my first choice! Actually, I guess I could have done the Run Like an Animal (and what a great t-shirt design they had!) but race day registration was $35 since it was a fundraising run and Saturday was my best day open for my long run since I didn't work until late so I opted for not racing a 5K and then running 13 more miles.

16 miles down on the lakewalk. Of course, the lakewalk doesn't actually go 8 miles out, yet . . . So I ran some on dirt path that will eventually be lakewalk and then down a busy and sidewalk-less Superior St and then across the highway and down the road parallel to Scenic 61. I had a pretty fantastic run. Well, the first few miles were good, the next 5 were okay but then after the turnaround, the second half just flew by. It was nice to feel good and feel speedy. It wasn't ridiculous hot but as I was coming down the last stretch of lakewalk (with another half mile to go since I parked at Bayfront), I promised myself I would drive back to the lake and swim if I was still hot when I finished. The water was COLD! But man did it feel great, even I did annoy some parents as I could hear their kids begging to swim because I was.

Skipping veins of thought here, there's a few possibilities for why I've been getting nauseous on long races. I'm thinking it's a mix of running hard in humidity (as that seems to be a common factor for every time I get nauseous) and taking in more carbs than my stomach can process. Once I found a fuel that would work, I think I got a little paranoid that I NEED to be taking in enough and ending up eating gels too often. So I'm starting training going another mile (or 2 depending on aid station spacing for various races) further than I have been between gels and we'll see what that does.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I forgot to update about my decision! Now, as so happened with this one, I didn't so much actively sit down and decide what I wanted so much as let it come to me. Sometimes that works - wait and see what I get excited about as I'm talking about it and let that guide me toward what I want to do. Well, I kept talking and thinking about Boston, even after thinking maybe I'd give it a skip by again and I sat down and wrote out a plan for Whistlestop. So that all seemed to indicate that just maybe I should be doing Whistlestop :)

I think it's a case of knowing I'll regret it if I don't do one more road marathon this year. If I'm going to be serious about having an ambitious future time goal that's also more of a "let's see How Fast I Can Be" attempt then I need to keep making progress with it. So. Now I have to make sure to register for Whistlestop in the next week or I won't get my $5 discount for having already run Grandma's :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

From NR: How humid was it??

I love water. I do. I love to go swimming. I love rain. I even enjoy a good shower. I do not, however, like breathing water. Especially when I'm just trying to run.

Sunday it was so humid that I sweated my arm numbers off. That's right, the numbers written on both arms in black permanent marker meant for the full triathletes who SWIM first, I managed to sweat off.

I then got in my car Monday afternoon to go to work and all the humidity had been stuck in the car and my seat was wet. Wet! Not from me being wet and sitting there but from all the humidity sucking into the seat.

Today continued the theme as I worked hard on keeping my mind focused on moving and staying positive. On my little 4 mile run. Yeah.

So. Three cheers for acclimating!

Brewhouse was a lot of fun again, but this year I was more uncomfortable being on a relay and I really felt I should be doing the whole she-bang on my own. I paid more attention this year to the triathletes and what they wore and how they laid out their transition spots. Hopefully, I have convinced the rest of my relay team to ALSO do the short course on their own. It's the 25th running of it next year, so what a good time to do a first triathlon, right? So here's a job for everyone, if you like: Go to my friend Katie's blog and tell her how awesome she is and that she can definitely handle the short course on her own! She was the bike portion of Team Awesome the last two years and is also an awesome climber.

Team Awesome came in 6th of 12 and had a blast, though!

I even ran 11 seconds faster than last year for a 35:15. I'm part happy and part bummed - it was humid and hard to breath so it's great I was able to boogie. However, I just sort of putzing along for too long before I started waking up and pushing the pace more, so I would have liked to start out harder. But - I got a nasty side-ache and started being a little nauseous (all in 5 miles!) so I think it's trying to push a pace in humidity that might be bringing those symptoms on in races. So all in all, I did pretty well.

Also, there was most definitely a guy at the finish line taking official pictures. Does anyone know where those pictures end up since there's not a link for it on the website?