Friday, August 24, 2007

More Tortoise than Hare

Getting it done.

I guess.

If that matters.

Really, if anything, I feel like a turtle on a fence post just watching-- unfortunately not participating in-- the race that forever goes quickly by.

I wish I could say everything is fantastic over here but it isn't. Everything is pretty crappy and I am just hoping that this is a phase of some days must be dark and deary and it will all pass soon enough into brighter, sunnier, happier, easy breezy days. Physics, you know: the ball will bounce and all that. Or am I thinking of Newton? Whatever. Lit major, art minor; BA. Creative writing, rhetoric; MA. Stats for poets and bio for art brats: so yeah, no science. Whatsoever.

And yes, I know all that is part of the problem. Moving on now. Metaphors abound--neither here nor there. Relevant or irrelevant. It is what it is. Word?

I usually count on my running and stuff to get me through the times when everything else is crappy so it really brings me pretty far down when the running is going crappy too.

See, that is not suppose to happen. It does but it isn't suppose to.

Nonetheless, I am trudging diligently ahead and am sticking with my plan of running 40 miles a week-- including a 2 hour run, until Sept. In Sept, hopefully it will be cooler and things will have calmed down and I can--without guilt-- begin in earnest to start training for a marathon(s). I will add a 3 hour run and build up the weekly mileage towards 60 mpw, and maybe--but doubtfully-- 70 miles per week. I tend to sort of mentally and physically fall apart once I hit 70+ miles a week so I am not sure there is much value in going to that mileage. And lately I've seriously been wondering if there is anything to be gained in going over 60 miles per week. 50 is really probably ideal for me.

Quality, not quantity is going to be priority this year in the training. Okay. Really, not getting injured or burnt out is the goal. I plan on keeping the bike and the swim too. My bike makes me happy and the swim makes it all feel better. I also like how swimming keeps my arms lean and tone. When I was lifting weights I was tone but bulkier. With my body type I look like a line backer if I have any bulk on top and all I have to do is look at weights and I Hulk out. Turn green and everything. Roar.

Lately I am trying my best to deal with the heat. And it has been hard and not so fun. See, the thing I love most about running is how unencumbered it is. All you need is your shoes and the road. Well--if you're like me-- your ipod and your garmin too. And I do like to have my phone--you know, just in case. But otherwise you are unencumbered. Free. So having to carry water or food or stop for either is very annoying. Totally messes with my groove, my rhythm.

Now, don't get me wrong; I definitely think it is necessary, once the mileage starts getting up there to fuel. But for me? In cool weather? Yeah, the need for fuel doesn't usually happen until I am 2 hours into a run. I have pretty much since I started running been able to do 2 hours with out water. ( And yes, certainly I run better, faster if I have something after an hour or so but what I am saying is that it isn't necessary for me in training.) But sadly, I have found in this heat I can't even make it an hour lately and even then water just isn't cutting it. It is driving me crazy.

After my most disastrous run on Tues and equally bonked bike ride on Wed I went by Big Peach to pick their big running brains. Steve Demoss-- as always-- was very helpful and gave me an impromptu seminar on fueling and electrolytes and what to do and what not to do. I left with some more
Crank gels --that have been working okay-- and some EFS Steve recommended I try.

Friday I needed to do 10 miles. Less would have been fine but the more I did on Friday the less I would have to do on Saturday to reach my goal. I like only being less than 6 miles from my weekly goal on Saturday because 6 is almost always doable for me.

So Friday I made a bottle of the EFS and set out down by the river (read, flat) for a 10 miler. I carried it with me--something I haven't done in forever-- and I sipped the entire way and I felt-- in comparison to lately-- most excellent. I finished up in an hour 20--an 8:04 pace. Best outside run in weeks.

I attributed the well feeling to the electrolyte mix but wondered if maybe it was just because it was 15 degrees cooler than it has been. The temps were in the low to mid 80's Friday when I ran and on most of my other runs the range has been mid 80's to 100 degrees.

So yesterday morning, after a quick 2 mile warm up with Lola I decided to test out if it was the cooler weather or the electrolyte. I dropped puppy girl off and grabbed a swig of water and headed out for my 6 mile hilly loop. It was overcast in the high 70's/low 80's. I finished up in just under 49 minutes. So fairly consistent with my run on Friday-- probably a bit better since it was tougher because of the hills.

Okay so all this really has told me is that my body can't deal well with the heat and until it gets cooler no amount of fueling is going to make me run faster when it is this obnoxiously hot. I am just going to accept that when it is hot I am the tortoise and maybe once it gets cooler I can see how hare like I am--if at all. Slow and steady they say. So who cares, right? Bugger off bunny, I say. I'm just going to keep on plodding.

But, you know, at the very least I think to keep from looking like a turtle it would be in my best interest to bring water, drink water and possibly have all that other gooey fueling stuff too.

So the break down this week:
Sunday: Nada. Too hot.

Monday: 5 mile run am--easy-- and then 1600 meters in the pool in the afternoon. I swam solidly for 1200 meters then did some 100 sprints. First 100 came in at 1:16. Rested 30 seconds and the second one came in at 1:19. Rested 45 seconds (I was dying!) and it came in at 1:26. I quit and just did a cool down for 100 meters and called it a day.

Tuesday:Very sad bonked run that only ended up being 4 miles. Gross.

Wednesday: Pathetic but got it done 16 miler in 2 hours and 29 minutes.

Thursday: 30 miles on the bike at 17 mph pace. I rode out Azalea to Willeo up Timber Ridge to Little Willeo and then out to Riverside and up Eve's road, got confused in a neighborhoods and came back down Eve's and onto Martin Road and around and back out Riverside to Azalea. It was okay but I was out of gels so I only brought 20oz of water that I didn't remember to drink any of until about 20 miles in so the last 10 were just hell. I about died on the hills in Martin's Landing.

Friday: 10 miles in the darn right arctic low of 80 degrees.

Saturday: 2 mile warm up and then 6 miles in 49 minutes. Then hours of swimming at the lake with the kids.
Run: 43 miles
Bike: 30 miles
Swim: 1 mile


  1. You know how the A/C in your house (any house) can't cool the air more than 20 degrees from the outside temp? No? Well, it can't.

    I think that our bodies are that way also. You can't cool off enough to perform well when it is 90 degrees outside with 100% humidity. It's not weakness - it's just physics. Your runs still kick ass.

  2. Keep the focus on this fall's cooler weather when running will be better! Fall will be my salvation from the dreadmill and I can hardly wait! I have two marathons this upcoming Fall/Spring...the New Las Vegas Marathon and the Boston Marathon, when is your next marathon(s)? You have a good foundation for your upcoming marathon training, keep up the great work!!

  3. Ms Natalie,

    That humidity just sucks the life right out of you...that's why the rabbit stops to take a rest while the tortoise just plods along slow and steady!

    Pom Poms waving! You're doing Great! ;o)


  4. you have a cold/sinus infection! quit beating yourself up-a few days of rest will do wonders if you'd just take them.

  5. I thought I smelled fall late yesterday afternoon, which of course only made me go into a major panic as Sept. 29 is fast approaching and I'm now at the stage of counting the many projects I know will not get done in time. (sigh)

  6. It fine. It will get done.

    Yesterday was nicer, cooler. But now I have this dang cold. Well, only the right side is compromised by congestion. The left side is still fully functioning.

    Sigh, it is always something.