July 28, 2011

Really, foot? Really?

How quickly the tides turn!

After my track workout with Minnesota R.E.D on Tuesday, I left thinking I would join some of them for the Rice Street Mile that was run tonight. Yesterday I had 13 miles on tap but decided to break it out to 7 in the morning and 6 later that night. However, after my AM run, I was having a lot of hip pain. Given the fact that I was planning on racing a mile, I figured I'd hit the bike at the gym instead.

As I was leaving the gym, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in the ball of my foot, kind of like a charley horse. It got worse and worse on the walk to my car. I figured it was just a muscle spasm and thought that it would feel better by the time I got home.

It didn't.

After icing and ibuprofen, I went to sleep hoping that I'd feel better in the morning.

I didn't.

Not willing to admit defeat, I packed my running gear in hopes of still making it to the Rice Street Mile just in case I miraculously recovered. I spent all day at work rolling a frozen water bottle under my foot. The ice felt great but as soon as the numbness wore off, the pain would return.

After talking with my coworkers at lunch, I decided to see if Lyn Lake Chiropractic had any openings. In addition to being the official chiropractor of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, they are also the official chiropractor of Team USA Minnesota. In short, they get runners. Also awesome: they could see me at 3:30 today.

After some chatting about what happened, and a lot of foot touching (ew), and the mention of the dreaded SF words, I found myself under the x-ray machine for a few photos.

After a meticulous inspection of my bones, I was deemed to be SF free... for now. However, I was warned that stress fractures, especially in their early stages, are difficult to detect by x-ray. After that I had some STIM (electrical stimulation therapy), massage, ultrasound massage (?) and was taped up and told no running until I could do so without pain.

Considering that it hurts to push my gas pedal, I think I'm going to be off of it for a few days. (Thank God it's only week three of Richmond Marathon Training!)

I hate it when my body thinks it's the boss.

July 25, 2011

Richmond Marathon Training: Week 2 Review

This past week in my training can be summed up with this photo:
Post long run Sunday morning

Planned- 55 miles
Actual- 56 miles

Took an Intro to Yoga class.

8 miles w/ 10x100 meter strides
Set out early in the morning and knew almost immediately it was going to be a bad run. It was really hot and I just wasn't feeling it. I quit after 5 miles and hit the treadmill at Life Time Fitness that night to finish up my three remaining miles and strides.

Here's the thing: Running fast on a treadmill (sprinting) is HARD. I think my balance needs work because I always feel like I'm going to fall off.  Any tips?

12 miles
12.17 miles; 1:37; 8:03 average pace
Got an early start and ran the lakes to ensure that I'd have enough water. Struggled on this run. Combo of heat, lack of sleep, not eating beforehand and mental stress. Ran the second half faster than the first, which is always good.

5 mile recovery
5.53 miles; 47:42; 8:37 average pace
Met up with fellow TCM staffer Jeff (a 2:30 marathoner!!) for an easy morning run. Even at this recovery pace, the run still felt hard. Probably because Jeff is so boring to be around (kidding).

9 miles
10.12 miles; 1:16:14; 7:32 average pace
Guess who got lost on her run? Yep, this girl. I ran the lakes and thought that the southwest side of Harriet would spit me out on a different road. I picked up the pace to get home in time to shower and get to work.

5 mile recovery
4.11 miles; 34:27; 8:24 average pace
Felt super crappy on this run. Decided to cut it short since I was up on mileage for the week, thanks to getting lost yesterday.

16 miles w/ 8 miles at goal marathon pace
16.03 miles; 2:02:47; 7:40 average pace
This run went surprising well. I was nervous about the miles at goal pace but I was able to come in comfortably under the 7:15 pace. After a 4 mile warm-up, my pace miles were 7:14, 7:07, 7:09, 7:08, 7:10, 7:10, 7:19, 7:30 (huge hill!). A 4 mile cool down followed.

Just a little snack for God.
image via
Thank goodness this week was over. It was uber hot and humid, like God was trying to bake us.

In case you missed it:

Richmond Marathon Training Week 1

July 24, 2011

Don't watch this if you hate laughing

Forget the Richmond Marathon. I'm totally doing this. 

July 21, 2011

Truth be Told

Some things have happened over the last couple weeks that have me thinking a lot about honesty. In particular, a good friend of mine has found herself in a rather unsavory situation, all because she chose to ignore the warning signs and red flags she saw.

For a while I questioned how she could be so stupid. Then I got a slap in my judgemental face when I realized that I am guilty of doing the same thing. Quite simply, it's denial.  

Denial: An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings. (source)

Essentially it's like you're lying to yourself but deep down, you know. You know.

Admitting it means that life will change, usually not in a pleasant way. And often the fear of that change overwhelms the desire to move out of a place of half-truth.

Here's to moving forward.

July 18, 2011

Richmond Training: Week 1 Review

Off the recommendation of several people, I picked up the book Advanced Marathoning a few months ago.  I love reading about anything related to running or training so this book was a welcome addition to my ever-growing library of Runner's World, Running Times, Women's Running, and essentially any book that has "run" in the title.

For the past two years, I've been writing my own training plans. In all of my prior marathon training, my weekly mileage never surpassed 50 miles a week. I also wasn't cognizant of my pace during runs and would run all of them at the same speed. With the goal of running a sub 3:10 marathon this year, I knew that I would have to shake something up with my training.

For the past few months, I've been working on building a consistent base of 45 miles (+/-) a week. I've been feeling really good and decided to start the 55-70 mpw plan with the hope that the additional miles will bring my fitness to a higher level.  I'll make some modifications to the workouts to account for other races on my schedule, but stick to it for the most part. Here's a look at how Week 1 shook out.

Planned- 54 miles
Actual- 56 miles

Rest. I like how my official training kicked off with this. Done and done.

9 mi w/ 4 mi @ half marathon pace
Track workout with Minnesota R.E.D. 2 x 2 mi @ tempo w/ 5 min RBI and 3 mi @ goal race pace.
First set- 6:53 (too fast!), 7:00; Second set- 7:08, 7:03
For the 3 miles at race pace, we did two laps on the track to get our pacing down, then left to run the rest on the road. 7:16 average (just a touch slow, should be at 7:14). I was running with two others and our Garmins were disagreeing on our pace so we slowed. We shouldn't have. Great workout, all in all.

11 mi
Trail run w/ R.E.D. at Hyland. 7.3 miles of trail plus a warm up and cool down around Lake Normandale for a little over 11 miles total. Went out with the fast group that I can't keep up with on the track. While they were running at a pace that was conversational for them, I was working hard. I kept up, though, mostly because I didn't want to get left alone in the woods to be eaten by bears.

5 mi recovery
An easy 5.25 at an acceptable recovery pace (8:35). I was bored out of my mind but kept reminding myself that recovery is just as important as the hard workouts.

9 mi
9.5 total. Ran the first 4 on my own a little too fast (7:28 pace) before meeting up with a friend to finish it out around a more acceptable 7:55 average.

5 mi recovery
5.39 miles on a very humid Saturday morning. Ran this a little too fast for recovery but it felt good.

15 miles
Most. Humid. Day. Ever. (We're having a heat wave here in MN if you haven't heard.) I have never been so sweaty in my entire life. Literally wringing out my short, shirt, hair, etc. Even my shoes were squishy. Ended up with 15 miles in 2:08. Glad when it was over but didn't regret getting out the door.

On to Week 2.

July 17, 2011

Status Updates

I have the awful habit about writing about dilemmas and then never writing about resolutions. So here we go:

The Shoe Situation
Status: Solved, sort of
I've been running in the Saucony Ride for over a month now and I do like them, but I'm not sure that they're exactly what I need. Compared to my beloved Mizuno Riders, these feel like pillows on my feet. I'm not the type of gal that needs a lot of cushion so this is neither good or bad. Next on my shoe list is a pair of racing flats because then I might actually beat 90lb high school girls in my next 5K.

The Work/Life Balance Problem
Status: In Progress
I think it was pretty safe to say that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed a while ago. Many things were piling up, both at work and in my personal life, and it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But This too shall pass. And it did. I'm still trying to find a solid equilibrium between all the time-sucks in my life but saying "no" is helping a lot.

Marathon Training
Status: Awesome
My training for the Richmond Marathon officially kicked off this week and I have to say that it may have been the best week of running in recent memory. I didn't miss a run, I ran all of them at the assigned paces and am feeling good. (fingerscrossedknockonwood!) I'll write a recap of my first training week soon.

I have, however, been sucking it up big time on warming up, cooling down, and getting enough sleep. One day at a time...

July 16, 2011

The Genius of Running

I read this quote in the gym the other day and it resonated with me. I'd like to think it applies to marathoners or any distance runners. Enjoy.

Perhaps the genius of ultra running is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand perhaps better than anyone that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being – a call that asks who they are…
– David Blaikie

July 12, 2011

race recap: the bear run

Last Thursday night I ran The Bear Run, a 5-mile race up Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC.

This is Grandfather Mountain. It's supposed to look like the side profile of a man's face: his chin at the bottom, nose, eyes and eyebrows. Use your imagination. Anyway, it's roughly 1540 feet up from where we start in the town of Linville.

I ran this race two years ago while I was living in North Carolina. At that time, I did some intensive hill training with a local running group and thought that I was as ready as ever to run. That year I ran the Bear in 53:00 minutes.

This year I hadn't done any specific hill training, at least not regularly, and therefore didn't have any goals for this race. I was just running for fun.

The race started at 7pm and had over 800 registrants trying to get into two parking lots at the base of the mountain. Thankfully my habit of being ridiculously early to races paid off and we were one of the first cars in the lot. Spectators were allowed to go up the mountain and walk roughly a mile to the summit to watch.
This was the line to get up to the mountain. I was already waiting at the start line.

View from the top of the mountain. The parking lot below is where spectators were allowed to park.
I killed an hour before the start talking to some old running friends and meeting new ones. Soon enough the gun went off and we were moving. From what I remembered of the the course, the first mile is really steep, the second and third miles aren't too bad, and the fourth and fifth are killer. I made a plan to take the first mile easy, hammer out the next two, and just try to survive the last couple.

I'm happy to say that I stuck to my race plan. While everyone was flying up the first mile, I stayed slow and soon was passing everyone who had already begun to walk. I felt good but my hips were really tight.

The course gets pretty tough after three miles and that was the first time I walked. I would walk the switchbacks and run the straight-aways, chatting with other runners who were feeling the same pain. Soon enough I could hear the cheers from the finish line.
Hey, that's me! Green shirt, bottom right on the road.
Almost to the finish! Green shirt with the pack.
The final climb was the worst. I'm pretty sure it was the steepest part of the course but spectators lined both sides of road. This meant no walking or else you'd look like wuss. I may not have much but I have pride.

About ten feet from the finish. I'm jealous because that guy's legs are nicer than mine.
I was also thinking about food.
Get this: 48:28. Nearly 5 minutes faster than 2009. Yeah, I'm as surprised as you.

They moved the finishers through a long finish chute where they gave out medals and water. Most surprising, though, was the fact that I got this:
This mug is given to the top 10% male and female finishers. Um, what? I have one word for that: sweet. And two more: slightly pathetic. I almost didn't want to take it because I didn't feel like I earned it.

          They also give out one of the cutest medals.

What can I say, I've become a swag whore.

Shirt. Mug. Medal. Courtesy of my super crappy camera phone
It's pretty safe to say that I'll be back to the Bear next year and will actually train for it. The only place for me to go is up. Pun intended.

July 9, 2011

My name in lights

Or the Henderson Independent. But I'll take it.

Records fall at Kraut Fun Run

For the second year in-a-row, the womens course record for the Sauerkraut Days 5K Fun Run fell and for the third year in-a-row Andrew Gerdts took home the mens title.

Jessica Eibs, a member of the Sibley East cross country team, took ninth overall and set a new womens course record with a time of 19:52. Eibs outlasted previous course record holder Hannah Schroeder who finished right behind Eibs at 11th with a time of 19:57. Schroeder also bested the previous record set by her in 2010 of 20:48.

For the third year in a row Andrew Gerdts took home the mens title with a time of 17:28. This was five seconds off the mens course record set by Gerdts in 2009 at 17:23. Gerdts was challenged for much of the race by local Sam Straub. Straub hung with Gerdts for about two and a half miles before fading.

Straub finished with a PR at 17:49. Straub was followed by Alex Wischnack at 18:12, Chris Lagergen at 18:26 and Bryan Petzel at 19:01.

1-K Kids run
Before the 5k, 12 kids participated in the 1-K race. Sam Menne won the first ever event followed closely by Sarah Lawrence.

Record Numbers
For the third consecutive year, the Fun Run saw over 100 runners/walkers and for the first year over 150 people participated in the race. “I would like to thank all the volunteers especially Coach Jeff Christ for coming out and helping with the race,” event coordinator James Brenno said.

Results by Time
Andrew Gerdts - 17:28
Sam Straub - 17:49
Alex Wischnack - 18:12
Chris Lagergen - 18:26
Bryan Petzel - 19:01
Joel Evenson - 19:47
Kristian Corl - 19:48
Tom Wischnack - 19:49
Jessica Eibs - 19:52
Caleb Giesen - 19:54
Hannah Schroeder - 19:57
Brian Trost - 20:00
Brandon Geldner - 20:04
Steve Schroeder - 20:09
Jacob Dolezal - 20:12
Shane Boehne - 20:23
Jeff Pinske - 20:43
Parry Larson - 20:44
Nick Zurn - 20:51
Trent LaBarr - 20:52

July 4, 2011

Random Numbers

3:30- What time I woke up this morning to get to our race, the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon which started at 6:30

1802- number of people that finished, including Maia from Reasons 2 Run, who I met when she came to pick up her packet on Sunday night.  I sorta felt like a stalker but she was so nice! Being the great blogger she is, she popped out her camera for a quick picture that I managed to look really awkward in.  So nice to meet you, Maia! We need to run together soon!
I totally stole this off Maia's blog

0- Number of fireworks I saw on this 4th of July

43- Hours til I leave  to go on a short vacay to North Carolina to run The Bear and visit with some old friends

1500- Feet I will climb over five miles on Thursday night

10- How excited I am (scale of 1-10) for the trip, not the race. The race will be pretty tough given my complete lack of hill training. It'll be a miracle if I can make it to the top.

5- Minutes before I fall asleep