Saturday, November 22, 2008

General Cho...

Roughly a week and a half since the plague monkey first took hold of my body I have finally beat the battle against it. I think. Well, I hope. If I don't see another kleenex for a while, I am entirely okay with that. I've also decided that if satan had a flavor he would taste like cherry Nyquil. *bleck*


My new Mizunos arrived this week and all I can say is that I still love the colour of burnt orange & that I hadn't realized just how much my old pair of running shoes had been broken in. I guess several hundred miles will do that to a shoe. :)

Of course I spent every chance I had wearing the new arrivals in order to start the breaking-in process. So far so good. However breaking a running shoe in by means of walking isn't exactly what I had in mind. But when work has you tied down & a plague monkey topping it all off, you make due with what you can.

Today the Turkey Trot came and went without my participating in it. I did listen to common sense this time around. Despite an exciting PR at the Full Moon 5k I can't help but think that in the long run (no pun intended) it may have made my cold a little worse. I decided if I were going to run this weekend I would be smart & run at a comfortable pace with walk breaks if needed rather then hauling like my red hair is on fire throwing caution into the wind.

The increase in work has meant an increase in the budget for things like running gear. Thankfully I have a husband that is wholly understanding of the need for proper gear which meant a trip to DB's to get the insulated tights I mentioned needing earlier.

Growing up I thought the reasonable price for a pair of pants was anything under $40 and the once every two yr. or so $80 for replacement snowboarding pants (I had a tendency of catching them on barbed wire fences when snowboarding around the farm). Tonight I bought the most expensive pair of pants I own/ have ever owned and it didn't make me feel guilty. Somehow purchasing the necessary equipment to pursue this passion that brings me so much joy, keeps me healthy & strengthens my walk with the Lord isn't a meaningless indulgence. It's just what you have to do. Especially this far north when running outdoors gets chilly.

Now upon arriving home after our trip to DB's & dinner out with some friends I realized I had a problem(s).

1.) Way to much energy this late in the evening. (Thanks to two glasses of coke. Yes, I should've known better.)

2.) A shiny pair of new Mizunos & Brooks tights that hadn't been christened properly.

Hmmmm, what to do. The thought of going for a run seemed like the only logical thing to do and once such thoughts/anticipations of the run that awaits me come into mind there isn't much turning back. Unfortunately a good portion of my tech-gear was in the wash. Like my habbitual orange hat, wool socks, green fleece, black running top with built in mittens & the base layer I got on sale for $0.95 which I'm still not sure is meant for what I use it for, but hey it works.

While it was unfortunate not to run in my usual gear this didn't keep me from my aspirations of at least a 5k tonight. Monday seemed like a long time to wait. So I scrounged around in my closet and came out resembling a less then sleek ninja. Overall the gear wasn't bad considering. The new tights are very nice.

The first mile or two of my run felt like I was flying. All this week I've wanted to be out there & tonight I finally was. There is also something about seeing my running shadow that makes me feel faster. It also lets me know how wide my gate is and how the rest of my form looks, but that's beside the point.

Eventually I reached the 2.5 mark on my route which is where I need to make the decision of whether or not to continue onto the 5mile loop or call it quits at 3. The weather was beautiful, everything was still & only a gentle mist was falling so I chose to continue on. I'm still glad I did, but I had the same issue I've had on several evening runs of only partially digesting my most recent meal & feeling it. General Cho's chicken is phenominal, however not something I would like to taste twice so I did walk a section here and there to allow things to settle before picking up the pace again.

I maintained a 10:50 pace which I am content with. Every run does not need to be a PR. I was out there tonight to enjoy myself & test out the new gear. Both of which I did. It was a good 5miles. :)

Looking forward...for some odd reason the thought popped into my mind of trying to run 1,000 miles in 2009. That would mean running roughly 20miles a week which I'm not sure is doable in addition to tri training. That and I typically need a little over 5days after a race to recover well. It's something to think about anyway. Reaching the first 100 miles logged was a pretty big deal to me and I would like to set a goal for this upcoming year. Not so much as a resolution, but as another building block.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The results just came up on... for last Thursday's race and after a day of feeling partially miserable due to the lingering viral crud this made my day.

I've finally come under the 30 minute mark for a 5k!!!!!!!! My time for this race (with the plague monkey even) was...

Full Moon 5k- 28:54.63 ( that's roughly a 9:21 pace)

I gave the race all I had considering I was sick and now I can't help but be curious just how fast I will be able to run my next 5k healthy. Guess I'll know after the Turkey Trot. :)

That's all for tonight. Now I'm really looking forward to getting over this cold and starting training up again.

I'm off to kill the plague monkey with some Zzzs.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Full Moon 5k - Running with the Plague Monkey

After noticing a few white speckles on the back of my throat I decided to head to the Dr. Wednesday night. Two hours of waiting amounted to a negative test result for strep and the conclusion that there is nothing they can prescribe to cure the plague monkey illness.

I was then left to my own devices and tactics to battle said plague monkey which I must admit was a bit discouraging. There is something comforting about an antibiotic when you are ill. Perhaps it's the knowing that in a week or so everything should be fine instead of the viral crud that can linger on & on with no obvious end.

Being sick irritates me. Not that anyone enjoys being sick, but it actually makes me kind of mad. In my mind my body should work properly all the time and when it doesn't, argh. Thankfully I have a husband who can help urge me to do what is healthy. Like take a nap & stay hydrated rather then staying up looking grumpy.

Once my angst of being under the weather and fretting about the up coming race had subsided a tad I headed to bed at 9p.m. (stupid early for me.)

Some solid rest did my body a lot of good. I woke up feeling better, no great, but better. Good enough to race I thought & so I did.

Pulling in at Dick Beardsley's Thursday night was a little surprising. I assumed since the race was held during the week and in the evening that the turn-out would be limited. A full parking lot and glow-stick adorned runners pacing about everywhere proved me wrong. Seeing the anticipation of them all made me excited even though I may have looked less then enthusiastic outwardly.

Since my Beloved was busy I went to this race alone. It's a rare day that I participate in a race Jeremy doesn't so it was a tish lonely those 30min after packet pick-up before the race started. I visited with a few of the "Regulars" (people who we see at most of the races we attend.) and that helped make the time pass relatively quickly.

The start of the race was on familiar territory. I had the pleasure of running with the ladies group @ DB last summer & they use a section of this route. Despite feeling worn from being sick running actually felt good and I felt like going fast.

Common sense told me to play it safe and not make myself more ill by overdoing it, but since when do I heed to that? ;) Actually I behaved, for the first mile. After that I slipped into my tri-breathing rhythm and the haze the plague monkey has cast on me had me in an almost mindless running state. Imagine the slow motion first person eye-view of someone running that they depict in movies and that's about how I felt. The pace seemed a slight push above what I usually aim for, but I was okay with that.

White parchment bags with lit tea lights marked the finish line and as I rounded the final corner I could see them not so far off in the distance. A pair of runners around me said "lets hit it" and they did, but I held back knowing what distance I can cover in a sprint. Once I reached that point I gave it all I had left passing about six runners, including the pair that "hit it". :) Yay.

Unfortunately I neglected to check the clock to see what my time was when I finished. It's possible I may have come in under the 30min. mark, but I don't know for sure. Only after a few stretches and catching my breath did I think to peer around the corner and check. At that point the clock read 33minutes.

As I mentioned before race swag has high appeal to me. Especially when there is a raffle & great gear to be had. Much to my disappointment somewhere along the line I either wasn't informed or was unable to hear that attached to the bottom section of the race # bib was a tab you were to tear off and place into the raffle box.

It hadn't occurred to me to check what each of those tabs were for until I realize that the numbers they were pulling out of the box once the prize winners were being announced looked a lot like those on the bottom of my bib. Sigh. I blame the plague monkey.

So if you saw the only person in the packed DB Running store leaving during the raffle, that was me.

As it turned out the best prize was waiting for me at home. There is nothing better after an evening run in the cold with the plague monkey then to crawl into an already warm bed, snuggle up with your sleeping Beloved and to catch some much needed rest yourself.

There are a few lessons learned about running with the plague monkey. Such as...

1.) When putting kleenex in the pocket of your running fleece remember to place (not fold) them in. Otherwise you end up pulling out a handful of them all jumbled together instead of one.

2.) Hearing anything on the loud speaker when surrounded by chattering runners and congested sinuses is impossible. Look for the person with the microphone & try to read lips.

3.) It's really difficult to cheer other participants on when you sound like Gonzo & clapping is mute with your gloves on.

Overall not bad sacrifices to be made in order to participate. It's certainly a different mindset to approach a race with, but I would consider racing when under the weather again if the need arose.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pre-registering & Post Nasal Drip

Last night I decided to drop off my registration form with fee at the running store before my Beloved and I went out on our date.

The free sock incentive (in addition to the tech-shirt) for the first 100 pre-registered participants had me hooked. I'm a sucker for race gear I don't have to pay for, but when I woke up this morning with a sore throat & a copious amount of sinus drainage a degree of regret settled in.

It seems there is some sort of correlation between pre-registering for a race and my being bit by the plague monkey. This is not the first time this has happened.

I'm hoping that taking tactical measures in beating it will work. Tea, Colloidal Silver and Kleenex have come to my aid. If I'm not totally knocked out I still plan on racing. It's only a 5k I should be able to handle it. Even if it involves snot breaks. Eww, I know.

As a side note, blowing your nose takes a little more thinking when it's pierced. I forgot this morning and almost tore it out. Ouchie.

I'll keep you posted on the plague monkey progress or lack there of.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Temps & Tights

After a dismal start to some sort of training regime this month I finally pushed myself out the door for a short 3mile run yesterday. Continuous rain, piles of work, a healing tattoo that even tech shirts stuck to and a handful of other excuses had been hindering me prior.

Thus there was no gentle transition from the 50+ degree weather to the 20s. Two weeks of laziness on my part equaled 30 degrees of acclimation. Sigh.

Since I spent the better part of last fall and winter on a dreadmill (as the TE ladies refer to it) I am determined to acclimate myself to the cooler temps this year in an effort to avoid hamsterity. As much as I enjoy running towards a wall while watching interior design & remodeling shows, there's no comparison to hitting the pavement or trail.

I knew becoming comfortable with the cold would take some time, but after the first mile I had adjusted to it and to the fact that someone other then my husband & fellow runners had seen me in my running tights.

There are certain things you accept when you become a runner or triathlete. One of those things is the performance of your tech gear coming before your vanity. There are athletes out there that can make these articles of spandex look elegant. I am pretty confident I am not one of those people. And that's okay because running well, unhindered by slapping pant legs, is more important to me.

If I can continue to drum up the ambition to get outside and run I think training this winter will be a lot more enjoyable. It may take a few additional pieces of cold-gear for it to be comfortable, but such as it is.

Thursday I will be running in the "Full Moon 5k" put on by The Dick Beardsley Running Co. Finally race that is in the evening. I'm looking forward to it! There's a chance to win some of the cold-gear I need so we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll win something other then a tacky coaster this time. ;)

As to the remainder of this week: My new Mizunos are on their way and I'm excited to get them.

I have a pair with speed laces on them already which I love. To think of all the time I lost tying shoe laces part way through races. Going back to traditional laces for anything, but the Filthy 5k (when I wear my yucky shoes anyway) just isn't much of an option. Now I just need to decide which type to use on this pair. It's another case of function before fashion. :)