September 17, 2014

Feeling Burnt Out

This week was the first week I actually said, "I am so ready to stop running". :( I think I over-trained. I just feel tired all the time. I can tell I'm getting lazy with the run itself, because I'm not controlling my pace when I first start out. I end up going way too fast because I'm way too excited about running feeling like it's not a chore to not just try and get it over with as quickly as possible.

Looking at my runs themselves, if I didn't have any idea how I felt before and after, I would think these are pretty good, actually! The pace isn't half bad and I had great weather - but I just absolutely dread the run beforehand, for almost the whole day.

Beautiful day!
Reshuffling runs is now an everyday occurrence, and I'm trying to figure out how little I can run to still be in shape for this half marathon on the 28th.

This last run was done pretty last minute - JW basically convinced me to go because I was so riled up from other things that are happening in my life right now. I'm trying to figure out how I want to spend my time for the rest of the year, and it's stressful deciding what to give up!

I'll leave you with a nice picture of JW and I taken over the weekend - aww!

September 11, 2014

Back From Vacation

I'm back from vacation! Before I left, I ran some.

Cloudy September day :(
Not the best runs, not the worst. Just kind of meh overall. I was ready for a chill, no-running vacation!

My mom and I flew to Durango, CO and went to Four Corners, Mesa Verde, Silverton, Ouray, and even drove all the way to Moab, UT to the Arches National Park. We had a great time!

Ouray, CO behind us

I didn't run at all, and it was kind of awesome. I'm kind of realizing that running isn't my favorite, at least right now, and that I probably need to dial back my goal for Bellingham to be "just finish" rather than beat my last half marathon time. I might feel the racing bug bite me again, but right now it's just becoming a burden to get outside and run.

A pattern has been developing - what were supposed to be interval and speed runs have turned into slow runs, and I've deliberately not listened to upbeat music because I don't really want to run fast. I recognize that that's probably not supposed to happen. I'm just slogging through the run, not trying for speed, just waiting for it to be over with.

Sure, at least I'm burning a ton of calories, but my nutrition also suffers because of it. I end up eating much more unhealthily than I would normally if I knew I didn't need the carbs to run. So running is making me more unhealthy, I guess? I know I could easily change that but I'm having a hard time finding the motivation to do so.

I think after this half marathon, I'm going to focus on dancing, yoga, and singing. I finally found a tap studio that really challenges me and I'm really excited about it, so I'll be going weekly, if not twice a week!

Here are the runs I've done so far since I've gotten back:

53 degrees on today's run! It felt so nice, and it was sunny (hooray!), but I'm just waiting for the day when Seattle turns into dark and cold 24/7. Gotta enjoy this weather while it lasts!

September 2, 2014

Seattle Marathon: To Run or Not To Run?

I keep wondering if I should sign up for the Seattle Marathon on November 30th. Because I signed up for the 10K, I got an e-mail with a $20 discount for any of the Seattle Marathon races (full, half, or 5K). I figured since I paid $30 for a race I didn't attend, this was a great opportunity/deal to sign up for a race with. I spent about an hour looking up Hal Higdon's plans for a marathon with a half marathon thrown in about 8 weeks before, and put the runs in my calendar. I went through the sign-up process just to make sure the discount worked (it did), but didn't sign up quite yet, afraid I was making a rash decision.

So, I decided to tell JW that I was thinking about signing up for the full marathon. He kind of stared at me in disbelief and told me he didn't think it was a good idea. Granted, he's not a runner.. but still, his doubtfulness made me think about it a little bit more.

  • I would achieve my New Year's Resolution of running a 2nd marathon 
  • I would get closer to my New Year's Resolution of running more than 950 miles this year (I won't achieve it unless I train for this marathon, plus 6 miles a day in December... no thank you)
  • I would keep up my running fitness with a set goal in mind through November
  • The $20 deal expired on the 30th at 11:59, and the race is $120.
  • I would have 8 more long-run weekends after Bellingham Bay, plus the 26.2 miles on the 9th weekend 
  • I kind of hate the course
  • Potential injuries
  • Running fatigue
I'm really not sure what I should do. On the one hand, I'm worried about injuries and being disappointed. On the other hand, I feel like it would be an accomplishment no matter how long it took me to run it. Of course, I would want to beat my time of 4:27:53 - but would this be the course to do it?

I know the half marathon course pretty well - for the marathon, as you can see, the split is right after mile 4, and the marathoners basically do their own little out-and-back (two out-and-backs if you're being nitpicky) for almost 14 miles... which is a little repetitive for me. I can only stand watching people run the other way, knowing they're ahead of me, for so long. I had the same problem at the Nike Women's Marathon - that damn out-and-back at the end of the race really killed my motivation. But, maybe it would be difference since the out-and-back is in the middle of the race?

Maybe it would be better to start anew for 2015, choose a course that's flatter and more prone to PRs (Chicago Marathon? California International Marathon?), and train for that specifically instead of tacking it onto the end of half marathon training. The only problem with that is those races have already filled up (being in January) or they won't happen for a while (October 2015).

Some more fast marathon courses I've looked up in addition to Chicago and CIM (I don't own any of these pictures... taken from the race websites):

May 17, 2015
October 2015
September 2015
October 2015
October 2015
November 2015
Or maybe I should just run the Seattle Marathon Half, and keep up my little tradition of attending every year since I've moved here. I'm assuming it'll be even easier, seeing as how we're staying in Seattle for Thanksgiving, as I won't be fatigued from two plane trips within days of the race. I always love local races for that reason - I can sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, not be rushed...

Or maybe I shouldn't run at all after Bellingham Bay.

At this point, the $20 off coupon has expired- the half marathon is $90. I'm feeling pretty fatigued with running lately (I'm writing this blog post and delaying going out and running at this very moment), so I wonder if it would be a mistake to sign up at all? I have until October 15 until the price goes up to $100, so maybe I should just decide then?

How do you decide which races to run?

August 31, 2014

Rainy Thirteen

Same old same old, I meant to wake up early and run but I didn't, blahblahblah. I swear I'm a broken record sometimes!

I ended up getting out of the house a little after 9 and getting on the trail about 40 minutes later. I had a banana, some prunes in a bit of Fage yogurt (my favorite snack nowadays), and finally bought some Gatorade Prime Energy Chews to eat during my run.

I think having actual chews makes all the difference in my training runs. For the last two long runs, I had been putting peanut butter between two prunes (a la Fannetastic Food) but it just hasn't been working. So I caved and bought these chews. (I guess I was trying to go the ~natural route? But fake sugary stuff always triumphs in the end...)

Of course, it hadn't been raining at 7am when I had intended to be outside and running instead of asleep in my warm bed.... but alas, it rained the entire run.

I admit, not as fast as I had hoped. I think I started out too fast. Looking back at my blog (or, "blog investigating), when I run 12+ miles, I have greater success in a  faster overall pace when my first mile is around 10'30" and above.

I felt really strong in the beginning - almost negative splits in the first half - and I had turned off the voice feedback so I had no idea how fast I was going. But then, around the 8th mile or so, my left hip started hurting. What is going on?? Usually it's my right hip, but I haven't been feeling any pain for the past few runs. I did some more blog investigating, and curiously, almost a year ago to the day of this run, I did a 12 mile run where my left hip acted up. I wonder if it's something to do with this specific trail or distance?

"Blog investigating" is a tricky thing. Comparing myself to myself is hard. I was definitely faster last year (especially at the end of my runs), and I'm not really sure why. I was so busy last year - I was in a musical, teaching a summer camp, and planning a wedding. This year all I'm dealing with is moving into a new house and trying to figure out renovations. I guess I'm also doing yoga, but shouldn't that count as cross-training and be enhancing my runs, not hurting them?

Maybe it's my nutrition that's slowing me down? I haven't been carrying chews or eating any protein bars before my runs, save for this run. I admit JW and I haven't done the best job with eating lately- I guess we're both in a lazy funk. He usually works best while he's on a strength program from, but he hasn't decided what his next goal is. Plus all of our free time has been mostly devoted to thinking about the house and money matters... But really I'm just making excuses.

soaked ground and soaked shoes
Of course, I successfully avoided all the puddles on the trail - until I finished my run, wasn't paying attention while I was looking at my mile times, and stepped into a big ol' puddle right before I got into my car. Brilliant.

Le sigh! I try not to be so hard on myself and try to pat myself on the back for running 13 miles after not running double digits for 3 weeks, but it's hard to look back and see how successful you used to be, especially when your life was seemingly more complicated than it is at the present moment. Blah!

August 29, 2014

Running with Stitches, and New Shoes!

My running this week got off to a shaky start. I wasn't sure how I would fare with stitches in my thumb and a slightly sore arm from the tetanus shot, and wondered if the area around the cut was going to start throbbing when I was running. I decided to take the whole weekend off and start anew on Monday, with what was scheduled as a 5 mile run.

Well, I was feeling bad for all the eating I was doing, so I turned off the voice notifications for how many miles I had gone, set it to "Basic Run" (meaning it had no halfway point), and just ran around the neighborhoods that branched off from the main road. I ended up running 9 miles!

I ended up really paying for this later, because my legs were killing me! This was a nice and relaxed run.. I tried not to push the pace too much (because I couldn't), and there were some unexpected hills that I tackled, but overall I'm really happy with how this went.

I went to a yoga class that night, and realized I couldn't really do yoga without being able to put weight into my thumb. Stupid thumb.

The 9 Miler was my last run in my pink Mizuno Wave Rider 17s that I got at Christmas! I ordered some new ones and they arrived on Tuesday.

I love the color!!
After I got my shoes on, I attempted a speed run. I decided to do a 1.5 mile warm up and cool down, and speeding up every .5 miles with a .5 mile cool-down, until I got to 5.5 miles. My dismal attempt:

There's a better look at my paces for the speed run - as you can see, I did well with the first .5 "speedy" run, but then after that one, it all just kind of looks the same. This wasn't the best run. Plus I was sore!

The shoes felt great - like new shoes should! I never had a problem with my Mizuno's, which is why I ordered the exact same model as my last three shoes have been :). I love the color change, though!

I took a day off on Wednesday, and on Wednesday night repeated to myself out loud, "I WILL wake up early to run tomorrow. I will do it."

So Thursday was kind of awesome because of how much I accomplished!

Only 5 miles, but the weather was PERFECT (64 degrees!!) and the fact that I actually got up in the morning really makes me happy. I went to a Restore Yoga class, went to Nordstrom Rack for a return, then drove to my voice lesson, afterwards going to the post office and going grocery shopping. Phew! Then I made Yeah...Immaeatthat's Spinach & Tomato Lasagna for dinner and JW really liked it! I thought it needed some spices- it seemed a little bland to me. So, if you make it, beef (hah) it up with spices!

I decided to skip today's 4 mile hill run since I don't want to over train (and ran 4 more miles than I was supposed to on Monday), and tomorrow it's my first long run since 12 miles three weeks ago - 13 miles! This'll be a good indicator of how I'll do at the Bellingham Bay Half - I'm definitely not convinced I can run it in under 2 hours, but I'm happy to be back at some higher mileage, anyways.

A little under a month until the Bellingham Bay Half!