Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Track Workout, Etc.

Above is a photo of my meal last night - it was actually delicious and felt very nutritious. You may hear me talking more about food on here because I am going to try to focus on what I eat more. I am also going to track what I've eaten on the days I've had stomach issues.

I had limited stomach issues today on my track workout, which was 3 miles of 100s on/off plus warm up cool down.

Miles as follows: 8:54, 7:39, 7:53, 7:56, 8:57
TOTAL: 5.21 miles/8:19 pace
/160 avg HR

I was going to go to spin class but I stopped at the gym to find out the class was much later and since I'd rather go home and finish up work (and maybe eat some peanuts and drink wine?) I decided not to go. I'm still sort of "behind" by one workout since I missed my swim yesterday. I might double up on the bike + swim tomorrow to compensate. I don't think it'll be that hard since both are easy workouts.

I also did push ups tonight: 14/18/14/14, then I was supposed to "max out" after that but didn't. I might wait until later when my arms are fresher. Probably defeats the point but screw em. I did 35 pushups consecutively on 4/20/09 just as a test. I haven't been lifting at all and the only upper body stuff I've gotten is in the pool. I'm not used to seeing my arms this non-defined. I mean, I think they're okay but it is usually my defining feature, pun intended.

Speaking of food, here is what I purchased at the farmer's market opening day today:

Isn't it pretty? I don't know what the hell to do with turnips but I liked the way the samples tasted so figured why not?

I've had a lot of other stuff on my list to write about lately and rather than parse it out into many posts, here it is:

Shoe bonanza:

I bought another pair of Gel Landreths two days before the Race for the Roses. I got the next model, full price cause there weren't any old ones left at a discount. Yay for new shoes! Then the next day at the race packet pickup the same store had a booth and a bunch of inventory - guess what was there? Yep, the old ones @ a discount. I had to buy them at like $40 off of retail, right? So now I'm stocked with 2 pretty new pairs of shoes which will hopefully last quite a while. I had to fully retire the old pair I had - I think I had somewhere between 400-500 miles on them (scary I put that much mileage in over a few months!) and they smelled rancid. How can shoes get to smell so bad? As a note, I decided to go with the regular width this time since I kept having to readjust the B width in the middle of my runs. My laces are tied all fancy now to give me a little more room in the toe box.

Isn't this interesting...? Want me to keep going? Sure, why not.


Ok, who hasn't heard about this yet? My initial reaction is that I WANT IT. I still get a nice (~30%) discount thru work and I love new gear. This one is WATER RESISTANT, so you could actually wear it in the pool. I could bring my love of metrics and measurement to the swimming world! Also, the battery lasts heaps longer and it has a cool design. I don't think it comes out until June, but I'm on pins and needles wanting to try it on. That's the only kicker - you have to try these on for size. I feel guilty because my current Garmin works perfectly fine. But as I mentioned I like new stuff. The other kicker is that it costs $1,395.00. Yeah, I know...a lot, but its probably worth every penny.


I need more stuff, espec for tri season: cool sunglasses, fancy biker-girl tops and socks and stuff, a wetsuit, a tri outfit and some new bathers for training. My wedding dress is going to be strapless, so does anyone know of sports bras, swimming gear that doesn't have straps? How atrocious would I be walking down the aisle looking all striped. Something to think about. I'd love to manage marathon training all summer long in a tube top.


Did I mention this hike in the gorge that we went on after the 10k the other day? OMG, I was gorgeous and the day was gorgeous. If you're in the area I highly highly recommend. Crap, I haven't uploaded any pics yet....that will have to come later.


Another crap ass race picture from the Bridge to Brews 10k. This was near the end and going downhill. I remember seeing the guy and I thought I mustered a smile. Or not.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stomach Issues & Poached Eggs

I am sick of this. What is the problem here? Too much fiber, not enough fiber? Too much water, not enough water? Too much coffee/acid stuff? WHY WHY is my stomach doing this?

I went out for an easy run tonight since I decided not to do my swim workout (hey, the pool heater is broken and its like ice in there). I ran 5 very easy miles and started cramping up around mile 2, then by mile 4ish I was in pain and had to stop and walk for a minute. And it got worse after that.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm going crazy here!

I am going to make this for dinner tonight:

It looks good and aren't poached eggs all the rage now? I've never poached an egg so we'll see. Oh yeah, my recipe will be minus the tofu, onions and garlic. Its basically going to just be couscous, spinach and the egg.

But back to the stomach....seriously, if you can help me out that would be great!


Me, post run looking angry but really excited about a real rainstorm. I am completely soaked.

The snarlball that comes with running in rain....such a mess.

And how it all looked when I finally managed to get it outta the ponytail. Weirdo!

Monday, April 27, 2009

11 mile Tempo Run

I was really not looking forward to this run. I had already postponed it a day and didn't even think I would make it out the door on a Monday. I've been a little down on my longer tempo runs lately and worried I couldn't run as fast as I was supposed to and dreading the disappointment. I decided before I went out that it was okay if I had to cut it short or go slower. That kind of gave me some comfort and helped me get out the door.

The first 2 miles were easy and felt fine. As I picked it up on Mile 3 for the 1st tempo mile I couldn't quite feel out the pace and ran it way too fast: 7:08. WTF. Anyway, by the 2nd tempo mile I was hurting - stomach cramped and just feeling crappy all together. I actually had to stop at the start of tempo mile 2 to gather myself. I took off my shirt at this point too cause I was getting hot. I was about to start on Springwater and calculated out where I should turn around on the path to make it home by mile 10. (This will come into play later.)

The next few miles I was able to get into my groove which was awesome. I hit the following paces:

Tempo mile 2 = 7:30 (171 bpm)
Tempo mile 3 = 7:40 (171 bpm)
Tempo mile 4 = 7:37 (172 bpm)
Tempo mile 5 = 7:26 (176 bpm)
Tempo mile 6 = 7:18 (181 bpm)

(Paces were supposed to be btwn 7:30 and 7:40.) I was only supposed to do 6 tempo miles but I decided to add one on. For one thing, I was feeling great. Much greater than at the start of the run. After the turn around on the path back toward home I realized that I had mis-calculated and would be going 11 miles total. I also had the wind at my back so the last couple of tempo miles felt easier. One more thing - the rain had begun to POUND (by Portland standards) on me. This not only made me want to get home quicker, but inspired me to no end. I love running in the rain and especially passionate rain like this. It was driving down and felt like a nice midwest thunderstorm (w/o the lightening). Even the hardcore Portland bikers were taking refuge under cover. I was soaked to the bone and had good tunes on the ipod and felt kind of invincible. So, I added on another tempo mile:

Tempo mile 7 = 7:17 (181 bpm)

The last two miles home were quite borderline okay. The rain let up a bit but not too much. I was pretty cold at this point and totally soaked to the bone. My shoes were like heavy sponges.

I got home and took some pics of myself to post one day. I looked hair likes to snarl itself into a little ponytail ball when its raining out. But now that I've taken a warm shower I'm all cozied up and listening to the rain still coming down outside. It is so nice. I love spring.

Miles = 11.08
Pace = 7:50
BPM = 168

Friday, April 24, 2009


Yesterday was a much needed off day for me. After Tuesday's track workout I hustled over to the bike shop where my friend graciously offered to fit me on my bike. He is a good friend from Michigan and Chicago who also moved out here about the same time I did. He is an engineer by trade but moved West to own a bike shop. The deal with sour/south within a couple months of moving out (shady details on the other party's fault that I will not get into!) and he's now an engineer again. Anyway, he's super into cycling and is a certified bike-fitter, or whatever its called.

Long story short, he was wearing wool vintage biker pants when I arrived and one of those hats with the tiny little bills - so he's serious.

We went through a series of ons and offs and measurements and lasers and plumb bobs, etc. It was fun, except that I could barely pedal and my stomach was all jacked up from the hard workout. Regardless, it didn't take too long and the adjustments he made felt awesome! I know its going to be very beneficial to have the bike fitted properly and I will do whatever it takes to avoid injuries.

Once I put in a couple of long rides I need to go back to him with feedback on any issues with my feet (going numb, etc.) or knees/legs feeling bad. Also, my handle bars are a little wide for my shoulders, but only by about 10 mm on each side. We're not too worried about that. I think I have a pretty good posture on the bike (I've been practicing good form in spin class!), so only time on the road will tell. I'm so excited!

I was going to go out yesterday to take her for a spin but a.) i was burned out b.) the weather was spotty and c.) I was scared to make the ride from my apt to the start of the paved path (abt a mile on city streets, across the bridge, etc.) with my shoes clipped in.

My next bike workout is next week and I'll be gone this wknd so I probably won't take her out until about Tuesday. Her being:

Ms. Richard Dick Dolce Specialized

aka "Dick"

I wanted an androgynous name if I was going to name her at all, so this is it. Isn't this great? Here is how it works in practice:

"I got my Dick fitted today."
"I'm taking my Dick out for a ride today."
"My Dick is squeaky - perhaps I need to grease her."
"My Dick is blue - what color is yours?"

I've had this damn dick for years now and maybe taken it out three times. All were nice rides near Seattle (base of Mt. Rainier, around Vashon Island) and pretty challenging, but I was unfitted and never needed to train for anything. I've also never used the shoes/clips. Once I get out a few times I think I'll be okay. I just need a little practice. A little practice with my dick...god I'm glad my mom doesn't know about this site.

So today is 2000 yds in the pool, which I'm going to do on my lunch hour shortly. Later, around 4:00/4:30 I will go on an easy Z2 8 mile run. I'm going to try to pick up my friend, a novice runner, to go with me for a couple of hours. She's doing the same tri that I am in June so we need to get her used to the road. I'm excited. I need to get back in time to watch the Trailblazers beat (fingers crossed) Yao in Game 3. Damn Yao!

Tomorrow is an easy five miler, which will be great - I am going out to the future in-laws cabin about an hour outside of Portland where there are tons of soft trails to pad along on. Tomorrow is workday there, however, so I'm sure I'll get some hard labor in doing that too. Sunday is going to be a tough 10 miler - 2 miles easy, then 6 miles @ 7:30, 2 miles easy. Think I can do it? I hope so!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Track Workout - 2000 repeats

I have so much to update but first will start with last night's track workout.

This was a tough workout and I was really scared of it, but after procrastinating I got to the track and just busted em out. My 2000 times were supposed to be under 8:40 so I wrote the 400 splits on my hand and that really helped me stay on track.

Results are: 8:27, 8:39, 8:38, 8:38.

Finally consistency! Those paces range from 6:40 (for the 8:27) to 6:50 (for the higher end). I would like my 5k pace to drop even lower than those times and I think I can do it. I forgot my HRM so didn't capture that data. So, it was hard but not as hard as I thought it would be. I was fully expecting to have to cut at least one rep short. I'm glad I didn't. I just kept repeating in my head over and over that this would help me become a better/faster/stronger runner. These are the workouts that provide actual results.

I did end up having my same stomach issues, but they came on more gradually than normal. I went to get myself fitted for my bike right after the run (only having about 5 minutes to change) so that didn't help. I think next time after one of these intense workouts that I need to eat some mild carbs or a banana right away so the stomach acid I've generated doesn't seep into the rest of my innards. Gross!

Again, I have a long list of things to update on later:
  • gear! (new shoes, triathlon gear to buy, Garmins)
  • upcoming travel and recommendations for places to run in DC and Lehi, Utah
  • bike fitting
  • push-up challenge
  • recap of training over past month (forecast vs. actual)
Time is short...

PS - thanks for all the nice notes on the race report! I love you guys!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bridge to Brews 10k Race Report

If you read through my posts leading up to this event you'll know that I was not in the best physical/mental state possible for a 10k. I did wake up and finish the race and as you'll read below, it was not a terrible day at all.

Race Morning:

I woke up to a pretty much gorgeous day in Portland. High temps and sunshine were forecast and the 7:30 wake up call did not disappoint.

The night before the race I was whining about not being able to make it. I ended up getting to bed at a respectable hour, but had stress dreams all night. I dreamt that (go figure) I was late and unprepared for a race. There were guest visitors in my dream of bloggers that I've never met. I forgot my sports bra and was lent the most hideous hot pink halter top to wear. The car we needed to use to get to the start was stuck in a construction site (hmm, my job is in construction, think this is a coincidence?). I woke up soaked in sweat a couple of times. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and realized I never set a damn alarm for the race. What? So I did that and went back into my delirious REM cycles.

Despite feeling good about the weather my entire race morning was spent at home feeling shaky and not good. I drank coffee and couldn't even stomach a dry piece of bread. I drove over with my sig-O to the start and he dropped me off near the front. I posed in a halfhearted "making myself vomit on the curb" photo. So cute!

Race Site Prep:

The portajohn lines were HUGE at the start and I was pissed in more ways than one. I finally got into one and decided no more water after that. I ran past the start to an empty street and did some drills to get me in the mood. This sorta worked. I took a disgusting apple pie Gu that I almost threw up for reals. Isn't this fun?

Race Strategy:

I had a very slim strategy... I put less thought into this race than the others this year. One reason is because I've never done a 10k before and didn't know how it would feel or how to pace myself compared to 5ks. I also am kind of burned out on the racing thing. I mean, its fun, but week after week? Come on. I wanted to run a pace under 7:20 and my coach said 7:15. Based off of my shittay run last weekend I decided 7:20 was more realistic. (Especially being hungover.)

At the Start:

The chute start was pretty tight but I tried to get in near the front. I hadn't seen anyone I knew yet but had a feeling I could find them. Immediately I see Jen and Zach and they're all super pumped - it made me feel a little more excited. My adrenaline was going and I think my HR just standing there was over 100. The sooner we could start the sooner we could finish and put this whole thing past us. Let's go!

Mark Set Go!

I set my Garmin late - the 1st pad must have been where the chips were activated (as I'd find out later when comparing my time to the race time - I was off by about 4 seconds). Everyone took off in a flurry and it was quite packed for a while. Of course I shimmied my way around as many people as I could. I knew there were plenty of 8k'ers in there too and I just wanted some damn space. I got into a groove pretty quickly and realized that I didn't feel completely horrible. It was going fine, just fine.

Before mile 1 I saw my personal photographer/hottie and he snapped some shots. I'm annoyed cause he didn't get the one where I stealthily flipped him the bird.

Then we got up a sharp curve onto the bridge. The bridge itself wasn't too bad elevation-wise but it was looong. I was a little disappointed that we weren't on the upper deck but it was fine, nice views of the city but a little weird that cars were ZOOMing past pretty close to us. I leapt over several grates on the left side. I feel like this race was tighter than others I've done. I passed a lot of people and some passed me. I was right behind this tiny little girl w/a perfect runners body and thought if I could just keep up w/her I'd be all right. (I later found out she was running the 8k and not even going really fast.)

Mile 1 = 7:27
Mile 2 = 7:10

Then we got off the bridge and into the Pearl I guess? I don't remember. It was confusing with some of the runners being in the 8k and some in the 10k. I didn't know who to try to pace off of. At mile 3 some woman passed me and asked what the time was and I was like "what?? from the start?" I mean, come on, please leave me alone and if you care so much why didn't you wear your own timepiece. Get it together people! I told her 22:00 and that was just past the 3 mile mark. Then a guy pushing his friggin child in a stroller ran past me. Can you please make me feel worse? He was running the 8k but still. As I realized we were at the 5k mark I was pissed because I knew I was only halfway through. I had been getting used to these 5ks and being done lightening-quick! I started to feel a bit sluggish and bored and tired and ready to be done.

Mile 3 = 7:15
Mile 4 = 7:27

The 8k'ers split off at some point here which really thinned things out. The route went through a bunch of twists and turns along barren industrial landscape. People were more spread out here, but luckily there was always someone in front of me so I knew where to turn. I started thinking about the Amtrak that almost stopped me a few weeks back in the Race for the Roses. About right then I heard the horn and knew it was nearby. I got a little panicked about having it stop me but decided I'd just wait for it this time. A volunteer shouted to us "whoo hoo! you all beat the train!" so I knew I was safe.

After that there was some more running and then some more running. As I mentioned I was kind of bored and pretty tired. Then the course rejoined the 8k route and things got really crowded. Its hard to tell if passing those people make it better or worse.

Mile 5 = 7:34

Mile 6 is where you get back uphill onto the Broadway bridge. Overall, I tried to make the most of the downslopes and just stay strong on the inclines. If anything I'm a strong runner and should be able to crush those people with tiny little sticks for legs on the hills. It was this ramp onto the bridge that a tiny little thing with an ass you could bounce quarters off of started sparring with me. This continued through the rest of the race. I only passed her when I got sick of looking at her junk. Back to the onramp - so many people stopped at the top of this! Not good to see fit-looking people hunched over and inevitably vomiting. Eew. I powered through and figured we must be close to the finish. Back over the bridge there is another really sharp hill right before the finish. I was in kick-mode at this point and my legs were burning up this hill. Right around the corner was the best thing I've ever seen - the finish!!

Mile 6 = 7:30

Finish time = 45:21/45:25 (garmin/official - hey 4 seconds count!)
Avg pace = 7:19
Avg HR = 176

Post race was pretty fun - I saw Zach right away, then Justin, met up with Josh, managed to watch Jen, Sarah and Amy finish. We got into the herd/line to get our free beer, slammed a couple and headed home.

I've never been so happy to have something over with. I feel like a dick for my piss poor attitude pre-race and all weekend. But I had fun and it was worth it. I ended up placing 8/179 in my age group and 16th of all women. I can't wait to check out the official photos.

Putting this in retrospect - when I did my 2 mile time trial back in November I ran a pace almost 20 seconds slower per mile than this and puked in the grass. This race I completed on a weary hangover and slammed a beer at the finish.

Oh yeah - then went for a 12 mile hike and trail run in the gorge. I feel good - Booyah!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


This is going to be a mess. I drank way too much in the past couple of days and I'm super tired and hungover and wondering if I'll even make it to the start tomorrow. Can anyone help? Can you please send helpful vibes to me?

Headache headache headache.

Friday, April 17, 2009



Yes, today is Friday and that's as far as my creativeness for the title.

I am slightly hungover from a fun time last night, but I'm making it through the day surprisingly well. Today is an off day and for that I'm grateful. However, some strange phenomena is overtaking me this week. I'M SORE. Like really sore all through my lower half - ankles & calves but especially my quads and glutes. Even a little bit in my arms. What the what?

I don't understand why this is happening. It is my easy week and I haven't done anything bad or wrong. I smiled at the runaway asking me for change instead of looking straight ahead like I normally do. I gave Zach a vintage French edition Playboy for his 30th bday. So, why am I being cursed?

I was going to have my next post be my analysis of forecast vs. actual workouts but I haven't finished it yet. (Too much of my week has already been spent analyzing shit for work, so I'm burned out.) I'll just go ahead and give you the run down of my workouts this week:

M = easy 5 miles
T = swim (1200) + bike (hour)
W = track workout
Th = easy 5 miles
F = (today) OFF

This was an easy week for me because of the race this weekend. I do have goals for this race, but after my sucktastic run last weekend I'm not sure I can hit 7:15 miles. Plus I'm uber sore and hungover and going to another party tonight. Not prime conditions to knock one outta the park is it? This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous out again and I'm just planning on enjoying myself. We might go for a good hike in the gorge tomorrow too (which will be great but leave me even more sore on Sunday). I just want to have fun at the race, enjoy some free brewskis after and start preparing for .....



Sunday, April 12, 2009

Insane in the Membrane

I had a suck ass run this morning - my worst to date. I was supposed to do the 12 mile phased tempo run that I mentioned this morning. Two three mile sessions of 7:15 miles. No. No f'ing way.

About halfway through I decided to cut off the last 2 miles. One reason is because I wanted to get back for Easter dinner (at 1 p.m.?) and by this point in the run I felt really tired and had already missed my times. Anyway, here are the splits:

8:14, 8:32, 6:56 (downhill), 7:35, 7:30, 8:37, 8:47, 7:46, 7:36, 7:29

Avg was 7:54/160 HR.

I did my swim/bike last night late so maybe that had to do with it?

Anyway...I am a little bummed about it but I guess that happens sometimes? I am pretty sure that I don't ever need humbling in my life. But this gave it to me on a silver platter. I'm not that pissed or beat up about it, but feel like I'm getting to a turning point in my training. It could be good, could be bad, but its something.

I hope I can hang on. I'm a classic case of all or nothing and looking back I consider the past 6 months to be pretty much ON. I don't want to just stop flat out. I'm always worried that I will do that and I desperately don't want that to happen. I think the races that I have planned out will keeping me on until July. After the last triathlon in July I have a 3 month lag until the Portland marathon. During that time I'll also be in the final stages of wedding planning so I know it will be hectic.


Holy matzo balls - I also tried out the Trigger Point again tonight for the first time in a long time and it was sooooo tough. I need to make an effort to do more of this.

To make this post even more stream of consciousness I will continue.... Speaking of efforts/goals, I have totally dropped off of my vitamin routine! Last week when my stomach issues were broiling I just couldn't handle the idea of swallowing those pills. This will I will be much more effective with my nutrition therefore be FINE with taking the horse pill nasty vitamins.

Speaking more about goals...I have clearly been lax with updating goals weekly so am going to have to develop a different strategy there. Maybe monthly goals? The original purpose of my goals was to develop habits and most of those habits have formed and become engrained. Some new habits I'd love to start enforcing are: weight training (or push ups at least), core strength and stretching/PT.

I really hope my upcoming week doesn't kick my ass like last week did. Here's the plan:

M = 5 mi easy, yoga optional
T = swim (1200), 1 hr bike (recovery)

W= track workout (easy)

Th = 5 mi easy run


Sa = easy swim (1200)

Sun = 10k Bridge to Brews race

Don't get me started on goals for the 10k. I just wanna survive baby! Plus, I've never done a 10k so I'm automatically breaking some sort of record. Even a DNF is a record!!

I just got the following email from my coach:

Don't worry about it Emily. Things have been harder lately and you just came off a 5K PR. Remember that. You are still adjusting to the Tri training and sometimes running times can suffer a bit due to the extra effort being place on other sports. You are doing great and next week is a recovery week, so you'll have some time to rest up. Keep your head up killer and remember what I told you concerning performance improvements and progressions.

Thanks Shawn! I needed that.

I mentioned yesterday that I was busy compiling every single picture that Josh and I had taken together over the past 5 years...I just had to leave you with some. I became pretty sentimental after looking through all of these and realize that, despite the fact that I can hear him sleeping (snoring and, sadly, burping) right now I know that he's the guy! I am so happy and lucky.

Lou Malnati's pizza - Chicago 2004

Wells Street - 4th of July weekend - Chicago 2004

Josh's Portland marathon finish - October 2008

Kissing under the arch in Ann Arbor December 2008

Seattle - sometime in 2007

Mariners game - 2008

Josh finishing Mountains to Sound 2008

Friends' wedding in Michigan - summer 2008

Chicago - 2005

I hope you people are more ready for this week than I am!


Bunny Day

Yo. Happy Easter.

I've been pretty much sticking to my training plan but there have been some deviations. I am going to sit down and assess my training over the past month and analyze performance. Performance as in: how close I stuck to the plan and time spent training. This will all go into further analysis of whether I can fit this type of training into my lifestyle. Paralysis by analysis.

Yesterday I had a tough day - I could motivate myself to get my workout done. I had 1,900 yds in the pool followed by 2 hours on the bike. My bike isn't ready so I had to use the spin bikes at the gym. The thought of being in a dark gym by myself for 3 hours was really depressing. I spent a ton of time yesterday putting together pictures of my spouse to be and me to put on our wedding website. Who knew how long this would take? Hours, I tell you. It was a nice walk down memory lane and all, but I didn't get out until about 6 p.m. to START this workout. At this point I'd already missed out on family fun and easter egg hunts happening on the other side of town. That coupled with forgetting my Garmin after leaving for the gym and having to walk back...just sucked. I almost quit and went home, but figured I'd already screwed myself, I may as well get in my workout so it wasn't all for naught.

So, I jumped in the pool and did an easy 1,200 (took maybe 20 min?) followed by 500 kicks (alternating free/breast every 25), then 200 cool down.

Then I changed into my biking stuff and went into the dark empty spin room and started cranking it out. I listened to a full episode of Fresh Air, then This American Life....I almost made it to the full 2 hours, but just couldn't do it. It wasn't so much the boredom (although I was really REALLY bored) but the empty stomach and hunger. Prior to this I'd eaten 2 bagels, some tortilla chips and a pancake - all day. I should have had more and/or brought some nutrition with me to have while on the bike but I didn't. So I ended the fun at 90 minutes and called it a day.

Today is a 12 mile tempo run: 2 miles warm up Z1/Z2, 3 miles @ 7:15, 2 miles @ Z2, 3 miles at 7:15, then 2 miles cool down @ Z1/Z2. Sweet! I'm planning to get it out of the way early so I can enjoy the rest of the day.

Hope the buny was good to you today! Not like the Donnie Darko bunny above which haunts me.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Randomness

There is SO much on my mind right now I don't know if I can lay it all out in one post:
  1. Trigger Point
  2. Race photos
  3. Time crunch
  4. Running-induced ills
  5. Eating habits
  6. Sad news
  7. Workouts this week to date
I'll start with the boring stuff first. Trigger Point. I finally got my own set! And the ball isn't squished down yet! I decided to get the complete set because I really liked how my trial run went with the borrowed set from Shawn. However, since I've had it for like 2 weeks I haven't used it once. I need to get ON that.

Race photos! They were posted yesterday and much better as a whole from the last set during the Shamrock race. Below is the full montage of the "official photos" including pre-race shots of me joking/stretching with Amy at the start, our lesbian prom portrait and several of the race during the start and finish.

Time crunch. Life is once again in full swing and it is hard to keep up. I actually did two of my workouts during the MORNINGS this week. It was great cause I had woken up pretty much naturally and decided to head out. But my workouts are becoming so intense that I feel like I need massive amounts of sleep. I am not a good morning person. I wish that I were but it is something that I've been unable to change through much experimentation. I guess I'll take the days that I can do this and not feel discouraged when I simply can't wake up. I have pretty much been able to cram in my workouts after work but feel like its taking up most of my M-F free time. Anyone have suggestions on what to do here? No choice but to suck it up and get used to it? My work schedule will most likely only intensify over the next few months as my project load and travel increase. Not to mention the whole wedding thing. Rain/pours feast/famine.

Running-induced nonsense... I have been getting mild to awful stomach pains on the tail ends of my hard runs that last several hours. Now these things are lasting into the next day. I did a little research and it sounds like the only way to combat this is to watch more carefully what you're eating and when. I'm going to try my best to be better about eating and pray that this stomach issue goes away.

Which brings me to my eating habits. About six months ago when I started training again I was really focused on my eating and weight. I knew I had a lot of improvement in my body and wanted to see those results. I was so excited to start running again (and with a real coach!) that I matched my intake of food to that level of discipline. However, as I've progressed my body has caught up and luckily shed a lot of the excess weight. This is great! But, that means that I've stopped focusing on the quality of my intake. No bueno. I've been eating shit for food (trail mix for lunch) and in quantities that are not small at all times of the day and night. It hasn't really caused me to gain any weight but is making me feel like crap. What is wrong with me? How can I trick myself into caring about this again? Better yet - will someone give me a friggin program to stick to! Do I need to hire a friggin eating coach now?

Before I get into my workouts so far this week I have some sad news. One of my favorite Portland people is moving back to Texas. Yes, my awesome, wonderful friend and coach Shawn is leaving us!

It is very sudden and he and his girlfriend are leaving soon and I'm devastated! It is a good thing for them and is taking them into the next phase of their life and they're really excited. I'm so happy that they're happy too! But I am really really sad to see them leave. Not only because of the coaching stuff, more so because they're great people and great friends. It is weird to reflect on how attached I've become to the people that I've met in my new city. I feel like I've been euphoric since I moved here - happy with everything - that I don't want anything to change! So I've decided to kidnap both of them and chain them to the top of my rock wall. There. Done.

Now I'm all verklempt and can't discuss my training in this post. I will say that yesterday I had my toughest track workout to date. SO HARD.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Race For The Roses 2009

Hiyeee! I'm here to report another local race. This weekend was just plain awesome all together and to top it off I totally kicked my time from the Shamrock run in the ass. I feel really good about the race, the day, the weather, the brunch, the champagne and the friends that have comprised my previous 48 hours!

Race Morning:

Race start was at 7:30 and I planned to take the light rail over - I needed to get on it at about 6:45 so set my alarm for 5:55. This should have been enough time to drink some coffee and get my body moving in time. I was going to eat a piece of toast, but had a late dinner the night before and my stomach still felt full so I opted not to. I've decided that with 5ks nutrition isn't as important as the longer races - my strategy for the 5k is to pop a Gu about 15-20 minutes before the start and hope that some energy kicks in while I'm out there.

My legs really felt quite dead and I'd wished that I had done something, anything, the previous day to get them stretched and loose. I didn't do jack. I was worried this would fug up my race but once I realized it was totally too late. Tight legs it will be!

I knew the weather would be clear and warm later on in the day - but it was still a bit chilly at this hour. I decided to go with the shorts and double layer t-shirts (race shirt on top!) and gloves. On my way over I kept on my pants and jacket to ensure my muscles would stay warm until as late as possible.

I haven't yet settled on my marine snow strategy for 5ks yet. Again, with the short distance the anxiety over it seems less of a factor. After a less than stellar attempt at home I just left and figured I'd be fine. I'm already giving way too much detail here but let's say that by the time I hit the convention center all engines were on go and I was actually able to use a real bathroom in extreme comfort. I was totally relieved to have this out of the way... Aren't you glad that I shared?

Race Site Prep:

After the bano I checked my bag, leaving myself with only the essentials. It was probably around 7:15 at this point and no one was really lining up at the start. They delayed the start about 10 minutes so I had some time to jog, do some drills, stretch and stress out. Luckily I found Amy near the start about 5 minutes before the gun and nervously chatted until it was go time.

Race Strategy:

I mentioned before that I wasn't really jazzed up about this 5k. I'd already gone faster than I thought in the Shamrock run and a little worried that I wouldn't be able to beat that time. I'd also had a hard week of training (biking and swimming and what not), started feeling sick, got into some nasty allergies on Saturday, etc. etc. All the excuses that work perfectly when you worry about performance.

However, I did think about what I was really going to do during this race. The Shamrock run my splits were 6:52, 7:47 and 6:54 - the middle mile being that crazy incline. I wanted to keep every mile just under 7:00 and stay consistent. I knew this course was flat except for a couple of inclines on the bridges but I wasn't very sure how bad those would be.

My A goal was to beat my Shamrock time of 22:27, my A+ goal to break 22:00 and my A++ goal (as always) to eventually break 20:00. (A++ is still very far off in the future.)

At the Start Line:

The time lounging around at the start area was relatively brief. It was nice that the start/finish was right by the entrance to the convention center and expo so you could hang out inside if you wanted. Also tons of porta johns and no lines. (I also peed like 4 times in the 45 minutes leading up to the start!)

Amy and I were about 5 seconds back from the front but it was pretty loosely packed and I planned to jersey-jump most of the people in front of me if they were slow.

Mark Set Go!

Sure enough there were some slower runners head of me at the start so I circled around to the left of them which I didn't realize would be the outside (longer) curve. Right at this point I heard someone yelling my name from the ramp overhead and looked up to see Sarah! I was so pumped I responded with my own fist pumping!! Whoo hoo!

The course takes a quick turn to head North and then up over the Broadway bridge. This first incline was so close to the start that I didn't have much time to think about the challenge of it. People were still jockeying for position at this point so I was focused on passing people or letting them pass me. Strangely it was mostly men and boys around me from what I remember.

After the incline it briefly flattens out on the bridge then you are basically rolling downhill. I passed a lot of people on this section because why not? Hello gravity! I'm doing nothing but lifting my legs and letting Newton pull me in.

My Garmin beeps on auto lap and I look down to see 6:27...WTF? No WAY. I was mad because I knew I was going too fast. About 20 seconds later was the Mile 1 marker so now I knew that something was off and I wasn't going to trust my Garmin for the rest of the race.

Now we go North a bit into a weird industrial area that is flat and kind of boring. I pretty much zoned out for a while here. I remember crossing over rail road tracks wondering if the race organizers have a deal w/the railroad to not have any trains come through and wouldn't that suck if that happened?

Next thing I know I'm heading South again and hear bells and see the flashing lights and hear the train's horn going....the Amtrak Cascades line was slowly approaching right in front of us. I was pretty far back and had no idea what was going to happen. The woman next to me is like "no WAY" and starts sprinting. First thought is wow- my previous question is now answered, then I was like crap! This sucks. Then I was all "wait, you know what I could use a little breather - oh well, not all races are perfect..." But in a split second I made the decision to follow the woman and sprint past the train. I don't know how anyone allowed it or how close we were to getting smacked but it was done and I was past it! Major excitement in a short race.

Anyway, after this is a flat boring stretch but there was one woman totally cheering and I loved it so I gave her a high five. I was actually enjoying myself. I didn't see the Mile 2 marker and didn't really pay attention to my watch. I felt like I might have slowed down a bit but was still pushing it. Legs were surely tighter than I'd wanted them to be but did start to warm up about halfway through.

Next is a final turnaround before you begin to head back over the last bridge to the finish line. This is where the damn on ramp hit my legs like a lactic acid bitch slap. It is a long gradual climb that feels worse after all out sprinting for 2.6 miles. I tried so hard to just keep it going as best as I could and I did okay. Two dudes passed me but I was pretty much solo as everyone behind me had been stopped by Amtrak. At the top of the bridge I saw Sarah again and smiled for a cell phone photo. I said out loud "that hill killed me" and some random chicks spectating yell back to me "that wasn't a hill, it is all in your head!" Imagine someone yelling that to you. They're lucky I didn't come back to find them for a lactic acid bitch slap of my own.

One last downhill (passing a guy who'd gotten me on the uphill), round the corner and you're homefree! I wish I'd have seen the finish line coming a bit to kick it in a little earlier, but it was all good. I wasn't sure where the final mat was so I blasted through much farther than I needed to. I saw the clock on my way in say something like 21:79 which clearly doesn't make sense. But I had stopped my Garmin on 21:20 and couldn't believe it! I crushed the last race by over a minute.

Here are my splits (according to the Garmin):

Mile 1 = 6:27 (HR 174 bpm)
Mile 2 = 6:58 (HR 180 bpm)

Mile 3 = 7:33 (HR 181 bpm)

Mile 3.06 = 0:21 (HR 185 bpm)

TOTAL = 21:20/3.06 miles/6:58 pace/178 bpm

According to the race results the route was, in fact, actually 5k so my pace was much quicker @ 6:52 but I'm not gonna split hairs.

Comparing this to my last 5k, it was obviously quicker, but the course was also flatter. However, my avg HR was much lower which is a good indication that it was more comfortable for me. I am really really excited about the way the race went. I ended up getting 4th/165 in my AG, 11th/812 females and 56/1239 of all.

What next? Well, a 10k is next up in a couple of weeks but now I want to find a 5k every weekend to try to chip my time down to sub-20. What do you think...should I go for it?


Here are some pics from the day....

Jen and me post-race in the expo center:

Waiting to see if I placed in the top 3...

Finding out that I did not (I actually got 4th place!)

Fun times at Mother's for brunch:

Official race photos to come later this week when they're posted. God, I hope they're not hideous this time.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Strippers and Cupcakes

I've been cracking up over the title line from Pam on The Office a few weeks ago...that followed up by Jim's 2-Way Petting Zoo. It just amazes me what these writers come up with!

Anyway, back to non-prime-time. Dumphy-time actually.

Wednesday - Jen and I ended up doing this track workout all alone in the drizzle. Typical Portland day. It was 2 miles of 100 on/100 off and went pretty well. Neither of us wanted to bust it too hard cause of the race this weekend, but really I just wanted any excuse to not work hard. (I'll admit it!) It was still a great workout and fun that we did it together and got to chat.

Thursday - I started feeling really crappy about the middle of my workday and laid down for a few hours. I was sure that the flu I'd been around was catching up to me and really pissed. But when I got up from my rest I surprisingly felt a lot better. I left to do my 8 miles in Z3 expecting for it to feel a lot harder because of my sickness. I was supposed to do this around a 7:50-8:10 pace. So when the first few miles felt hard I wasn't surprised until I did the math on my first few miles were all way faster than I should have been going. Another mis-perceived pace on my part. Oh well, I kept going but ended up stopping after 7 miles. I just needed to sit down. So I did, right on the corner downtown. I just stopped and sat down on the sidewalk while people were walking home from work all around me. It felt good but probably looked weird. I was feeling sick and exhausted again and not the "wow, I just had a good run" exhausted. I walked the remaining half mile home in the cold, rain and wind and had an early night.

Mile 1 = 7:16 (139 bpm)
Mile 2 = 7:12 (172 bpm)
Mile 3 = 7:23 (173 bpm)
Mile 4 = 7:55 (173 bpm)
Mile 5 = 7:47 (173 bpm)
Mile 6 = 7:52 (172 bpm)
Mile 7 = 8:07 (170 bpm)

TOTAL = 7 miles/7:39 pace/167 avg bpm

Friday - Woke up feeling surprisingly better. I wonder if I did start to get something but my body was able to fend it off? I've been really healthy this past year and not really gotten sick at all. I usually get something, even little, at some point but the past year not so much. Maybe its working from home and less exposure to sick people? (I'm a fu'ing hermit.) Maybe it is all the training? Who knows? Maybe I was just hoping to get sick so I don't have to run this weekend? Anyway, Friday I did 90 minutes on the bike in Zone 2-3 (146-165 bpm). I incorporated a spin session in there to keep it less boring. I'm coming to the conclusion that biking is pretty boring. Especially when you're not going anywhere. I need to get on the ROAD. I hope that it is more exciting than in the gym.

TOTAL = 90 minutes/160 bpm

Today I am supposed to do a somewhat easy swim but I don't know if I'll get to it. The thought of doing anything outside of my cozy apt right now seems wrong. I do need to go out and get my race packet though.

Speaking of the race, I'm running a 5k tomorrow. My 2nd 5k in the past 5 years or so. I made a big to do out of the last one (Shamrock Race, March 15th) because it would be a benchmark. For whatever reason I'm not super excited about tomorrow.

I did do a bit of stalking online today that is embarrassing to admit. I looked at the finished that placed ahead of me in my age group on 3/15 and checked to see if they'd registered for this race. One had! So I looked up her bib number to see her picture and what I was up against. That isn't totally psycho is it? The scary thing is that they list first and last names so I could probably look her up, go to her house and poison her dinner. Yes, that would be crazy. I'm not going to worry about her because she finished in 19:xx and that's way out of my league. More stalkery: I looked up last years results to see where I would finish (4th in my AG) and to see if any of those ladies were doing this year's race. None are.

Anyway....I don't know how I'll perform tomorrow but hoping that I do better than the last race. 5ks are such a bitch and the degrees of improvement are usually mere seconds, so we'll see. My bike yesterday really blasted out my legs and I still might be fighting off a cold or something? More importantly, what am I going to wear? Probably not the flappy shorts that I wore in the last race. It is supposed to be really warm tomorrow and sunny and I am SUPER pumped for that. Summer in Chicago!* OH yeah, another thing I have against me is the drinking I did last night - 4 drinks and I was hammered. WTF?

Here is a random photo because don't pictures always make these things more interesting?

This is right after I received my wedding proposal. Up on Beacon Rock, and this is where the ring was "hidden." The box had been closed and I mistook it for a speaker device that allowed blind people to hear whats on the educational placard. Yes, I'm an idiot!

Race Report to come tomorrow!! Good luck to everyone else racing as well.

*This is a euphamism for the glee that is associated with, you guessed it, summer in Chicago. It is a feeling that can only be known to those who gritted out 8-9 months of winter then are welcomed by daisy dukes on the lakefront and patio drinks at a favorite bar.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Showers

Monday - 5 mile easy run. This was nice - I met up with Jen and Zach and we talked the whole time.

Tuesday - this ended up being a big training day, at least in my mind. 2400 yd swim followed up 90 minutes on the bike. I did this all at the gym since my bike ain't ready for the outdoors yet.

The swim was okay but hard. I'm trying to work on my form a bit, keeping my head down and hands entering the water the right way. Luckily the pool wasn't crowded so I didn't have any issues. The 24 Fitness I go to doesn't have any damn floaters for pulls only so I improvised and used my Crocs between my legs! Despite my creativity this didn't work too well. I need to buy one of these. I also need to buy differently tinted goggles. I love the way mine fit but they darken everything which is the last thing I need when feeling confined a a bit claustrophobic in my crappy gym's pool. I'm also starting to wonder whether the pool is short - it might be but I'm afraid to find out.

When I first got the to gym I tried to sign up for the spin class - nope, they don't put out the list until an hour before the class. Eye roll and I walked away... (I always surprise myself when I act like a bitch a little bit - it kind of makes me proud in a sick way. I'm too nice - when people run into me or slam a door in my face my first response is "I'm sorry!" Why? Why am I sorry - YOU should be sorry you rude bastard.) The spin classes have been filling up and I knew that I needed to be there today - no way I could do 90 minutes on my own on a stationary bike. Problem is that by the time I was done w/my swim workout it would be too late and the class would be full. So you guessed it - about half way through my swim workout I wrapped on my towel, put on my squeaky Crocs and ran out to the front desk with my cap/goggles on to sign up. Everyone stared at my like I was friggin crazy but score one for the good guys - I got in. SUCKAS!

I got all confused during the swim. I did the SKIPS, but then way later realized that I stopped after the "I" - that was dumb. I did the rest during my cooldown. Here was the workout:

  • WARM UP: 200 SKIPS
  • MAIN SET: 8 x 100 free on 2:00 + 8 x 50 kicks on 1:15
  • COOL DOWN: 200 any
I struggled around the middle of my 100s and on my 4th set I gave myself an extra 15 seconds - god forbid! Most of my reps I finished around 1:45 giving me 15 seconds to pant. The kicks were fine, most coming in at 1:00 exactly.

Next I ran into the locker room intending to give myself 5 minutes to change and get on a bike. It ended up taking about 10 minutes instead which is to be expected. Nothing is worse than trying to put on tight fitting clothes over damp skin.

My workout was supposed to be 90 minutes total on the bike as follows: 20 minute warm up in Z2, 4 x 10 minutes @ Z4 with 3 minutes rest, then 20 minutes cool down in Z2.

Wouldn't you know I forgot my sheet saying what my HR was for each zone so I totally guessed it. surprisingly the instructor had 3 sets of about 10 minutes each climbing. I decided to do my own Z4 thing during those sets of 10 minutes and it worked out mostly fine - by the time the class was cooling down I had one 10 minute set left to go then my cool down. By the end of the cool down I was in there all alone - totally bored and ass starting to get chapped. Literally and physically. I think next time I have to start wearing the padded pants. Here is how I did according to my Garmin...

  • WARM UP: 20 minutes @ 133 bpm
  • 10 minutes @ 160 bpm + 3 easy (148 bpm)
  • 10 minutes @ 164 bpm + 3 easy (143 bpm)
  • 10 minutes @ 165 bpm + 3 easy (147 bpm)
  • 10 minutes @ 167 bpm
  • COOL DOWN: 20 minutes @ 126 bpm
TOTAL = 1:28/146 avg bpm

Later when I looked at my bike HR zone sheets I found out I was off - I did this way too easy. Z2 is 146-158 and Z4 is 166-176. I'm a chump.

I was f'ing exhausted afterward and excited to go home to babysit my adorable perfectly well-behaved niece. My b/f had his 1st diaper changing experience (#2) and because of the length of time it too, he totally got pissed on.

Anyway...that wraps up my workouts thus far for the week. I have a track workout tonight and am going to do it at Grant Park @ 6:30 w/the Upper Echelon crew. It is sort of an easy one but I guess I have a race this weekend so whatever.

The wine party on Saturday was widely reported by many others so I'll just say that I had a blast. You guys are great.

Sunday I blew off whatever workout I'd had planned and I'm okay with that. I shouldn't have had so much fun Saturday because getting in my training has been tough, but for now this is how it is. I need to keep balanced and stick w/my social program as well. I'm trying really hard to stick with my plan this week and so far it is working out. Thursday's 8 mi Z3 run will be sorta tough and Friday's swim+bike will be another doozy. Looking forward to the race on Sunday and brunch afterward.