Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving in ATL

After the disappointing HM, I drove to my sister's.  We had refrained from watching Catching Fire on opening night, so that we could watch it together.  I'm looking forward to March 2014, when the DVD will likely come out, when I can start watching it over and over again at home.

Lots of Modern Family, lying down, and eating, haha... she has a DVR.  Soooo much Modern Family.

On Tuesday (Nov 26), after giving my body a bit of HM recovery, I finally got tired enough of being sedentary.  I would've preferred to go to the gym, but my sister had to take the key when she went to work, so I did a Jillian Michael's Body Revolution workout via Youtube on my iPhone.  For light weights, I used two bottles of wine, and for a heavy weight, I used a cooler.  You do what you gotta do.  During the workout, the sets felt pretty short, so I was straining maybe only once.  I felt like I had moved around a little bit, but it wasn't the same as running.  I rounded out the workout with some extra strength exercises, to help keep my knees (which are affected by hip strength) happy. 

I was sore the next day, which was nice... upper arms, and legs.  It's good to shake things up and try different workouts.

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday, since my sister had to work the next day.  I roasted a Tofurkey with sweet potatoes and onions.  I was a bit horrified when I saw that the Lobsters that my dad had gotten were still alive... maybe I will become a vegetarian one day.  If they do have to die, maybe there's some quick and painless way to kill them.

(Poor Lobby)
I considered running that night, because my body wanted to, but my body was also tired and a little bit full, so I delayed it until the next day.
Hunger Games is giving me incentive to train again.  I LOVE training scenes in movies, haha.  It's always my favorite part.  I like taking pictures of gyms that I go to at hotels and apartments because one day, it would be fun to have my own gym.  Hunger Games would be a cool theme, now that I think of it.
I did a nice 7.0miler on Thursday, at 3 degrees of incline.  It had been 4 days since my last run, which was why it felt pretty easy.  8:24 ave pace, 7:44 effort after factoring in the incline.  Did some functional arm workouts afterwards, with the nice equipment that they had in the apartment fitness room.

Went shopping T-day night.  I was most excited about this:
Which has an uncanny resemblance to this:
Friday, another nice run.  5.0 mi in 41:16, 8:15 ave, on a 2 degree treadmill.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

RACE REPORT: iRecycle Half Marathon - 2013

Sunday, Nov 10: The day after the 4K race, I did a long run in preparation for the half marathon, which was 2 weeks away.  It was, by far, the longest run I've done since the St. George Marathon in early October.  My sinuses went crazy after the previous day's race.  My body felt tired/worn/drained during the first half of the run, despite a 4hr nap earlier in the day, but I got better and did a big negative split.  My left knee yoinked only once.  This was a confidence-boosting run, and I was glad to be able to pull out the 11.8 miler on demand.  My legs felt a bit used afterwards, maybe still recovering from the marathon.  The backs of my shoulders were sore from the previous day's race.

Monday, Nov 11: Bike session.  Legs were slow at first, but it got a bit faster towards the end.  Did the session after a night-time conference call.   Sinuses finally started improving some time during the workday.

Wednesday, Nov 13: 1 hr strength session in the middle of the night, after a nap.  Considered sleeping through, but my body felt like it needed the cardio.  It had been a while since my last strength session (2 weeks!).

Thursday, Nov 14: 3.5 mi speed session at 1 degree of incline.  0.5 warmup in 4:05, 0.75 mi @ 8.5mph in 5:18, 0.25mi @ 7.5mph in 2:00, 2 x [0.5mi @ 9mph in 3:20, 0.25mi @ 7.5mph in 2:00], 0.5 mi shakeout in 3:32 progressively faster.  So tired after work that I felt like I could cry and collapse.  Decided it would be easier to just stay awake (until dinner digested) instead of napping and then forcing myself out of the nap.   Energized by the run, which wasn't perfect, but was still good. 

Saturday, Nov 16: A nice hike (about 6 mi) at Paris Mountain in Greenville, with some new and old friends. 

Sunday, Nov 17: 4.0 on the 3 degree treadmill.  8:28 ave pace.  Splits> 8:51, 36, 25, 00.  = 7:48 effort.  Mentally fuzzy, downtrodden.  Body didn't feel like exercising, either.  Felt like a hamster forced to run on a wheel, as I was running.  Not much mojo this week.

Tuesday, Nov 19: 4.5 on a 1 degree treadmill, 8:07 ave pace progressively faster.  A decent effort towards the end.  Had a night conf call before.  Took the next 3 days completely off to taper.

The Race:
This was my third consecutive year running the race.  I thought it would be like the other times, when I got 2nd overall.  I did all the usual pre-run stuff.  At the start, I talked to a surprising number of people who said that they remembered me from the previous years.  I figured that with marathon fitness and the taper, I could pull off a similar time as last year's HM PR (1:36:00, just about).  At the gun, started at a comfortably reigned in pace.  Power-walked the hills.  I executed it similarly to how I ran the previous years.  It felt like a similar effort.  Volunteers and police were fantastic, as  usual.  I thought I'd be able to pull in my competitors, gradually.  But, after passing a few, I didn't see any more to pass... the others who I had counted at the beginning as being ahead, were never even in sight.  By the time I got to the final mile, I saw that I was going to end up finishing much slower than in the past... 1:40:25... 3rd slowest time ever, maybe.  It was hilly, but I'm a pretty consistent 1:36:XXer.  I was maybe 6th woman, 2nd AG, but I was pretty puzzled and disappointed by the performance.  I was even doing the post-marathon shuffle.  My right plantar fascia was clearly stressed, too, from the super-flexible Saucony Virratas that had been great during the marathon. 

So... what could it be?
- Been really tired lately
- Work's been psychologically stressful (along with the usual physical and mental stress)
- Still in post-marathon recovery?
- Not much training, although I should still have some marathon fitness left over

Eh... it's ok.  At least I got a good forced long run in.  Had delicious BBQ after the race (one of my favorite parts of the race).  And... I plan to be back next year, ready for redemption. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

RACE REPORT: Kegs n Ks 4K - 2013

Training before:
5.5 miles on a 3 degree treadmill @ 8:21 pace, on the Tuesday before the Saturday race.  Work was taking precedence this week, with a fair bit changing, so I didn't do anything on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. 

The Race:
This was a unique race, beer-themed.  I wish I lived close enough to Milton, DE to participate in the Dogfish Dash.  This was a pretty cool substitute.  They had a great tech t-shirt (Will Run for Beer) and a pint glass as swag.  You could fill it up after your race.

I realized 20 minutes before race start, while I was still at my apartment, that the race was going to actually start in 20 minutes.  Thankfully, there was a parking spot waiting for me.  I warmed up on my way to the packet pickup and stashed my stuff before heading to the line to do some dynamic stretching.  Lots of adrenaline used, even before the start.

I didn't partake in the pre-run beer, and I had no intention of drinking during the run, either.  I was in it to run fast.  The crowd wasn't too big, since it was a first annual event, but the group made up for it in enthusiasm. 

We took off at the start, and I fell behind a couple.  They were running strong, the guy built like an elite triathlete/marathoner, and the girl with excellent running form.  There were some rolling hills.  They stayed about 50m ahead for almost the entire race.  I did gain on them a bit when a beer stop ended up not having any beer.  I haven't done speedwork in months, although I did play a game of ultimate Frisbee last weekend, where I was more intent on running my heart out (and diving around) than playing well.  Marathon fitness was still in the bank, though.  I finally caught up at the last moment, in the final sprint, which was a short but steep uphill.  Good for 1st girl, 2nd overall. 

It was publicized as a 4K race, but it was actually a bit shorter.  I ran 13:47.  My arms were really not ready for all the pumping that it had to do in the rather sprinty race.

Afterwards, there was good live music.  There was also a keg toss competition.  I think I got last place, haha.

(the prize - a cool trucker hat, and a Thomas Creek bottle opener keychain! :))

Looking forward to next year's event.  Will run for beer!

DC, Dela-where?, and Princeton

A happy, happy week...

Thursday, Oct 31 : Flight to DC, to visit a friend. 

Friday, Nov 1 : Drove to Milton, DE, and Rehoboth Beach, DE, to visit Dogfish Head Brewery and Brewpub.


Steampunk Treehouse

Beer-infused food
Power-walked to the beach, to touch the ocean before driving on to Princeton
Went to Pton for a conference on finding good community post-college.
It was good to catch up with friends... figuratively and literally.
(2.9 in 30:53, through some trails I wish I knew about back in the day)

Life post-college can be tough.  Some of us are in transition, at short-term gigs like internships or grad school, making it less enticing to go through the trouble of putting down roots.  Others may be more settled in one place, yet it can be a challenge to find community.  In the Real World, you don't live within walking distance of all your friends, and you don't get to navigate through shared experiences 100% of the time like you do in college. 
However, God has plans for us wherever he puts us.  The Body of Christ is a supernaturally assembled being.  What else can bring together such diverse people who wouldn't otherwise come together?  We must be the strangest looking family, but God calls all people.  And  not only that, we each have a special role to play, where even the most seemingly weak person or trying person is the most indispensable.  We all have some part to play in his perfect plan.  We also need community for the accountability, because we're all prone to wander, and if we don't address the muck inside each of our hearts, we can become hardened towards God's truth and grace.  From personal experience, I also know how peoples' mere presence can be a comfort and assurance in difficult times.  I'm very thankful for the family that God has given me.   Even those who I just met during this trip, I feel like I could've known them all my life.  Such are the ties between brothers and sisters in Christ. 
Monday, Nov 4:
Drove back to DC on Sunday.  Explored the Museum of Natural History on Monday.