Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tecumseh Disclaimer

Here's my pre-Tecumseh disclaimer:

Unfortunately I haven't run since 11/17. Ouch. I have been part-busy, part-lazy. All I will say is that I'm not expecting to have a great time for this race; I just want to finish. It'd be great to finish just one second before my last year's time of 4:58. Even though I haven't run in forever, I'll be depressed if I don't beat my previous time since that was my first run on a trail, and first run on more than one incline.

The race is one week from today...and maybe I'll get in one-two runs until then. Don't worry, I'll finally be done with school in a few weeks and my plan is that with all my new free time, I'll have a wonderful new training schedule for the first time. Woohoo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Boston Marathon Attire

I know it's early but I've been thinking a lot about what I'm going to wear for the Boston marathon and I know for sure that I'll be sporting the Colts while I'm there.

Would these be too harsh to wear? Although I love them (the shirts, that is), they don't sport the Colts at all- and that's the main goal.

Thankfully someone already asked the question about wearing the shirt and it looks like it might not be a good idea.

Even though this shirt below isn't made of runnable material and it will probably be freezing in Boston in April, I wanted to wear this tank top since it's in your face. Too bad they don't sell this item anymore. I'll keep on looking.

Please let me know if you see anything worthy of wearing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Recap of Races Cont...

It's been awhile since I've recapped this year's races and so now's the time, before I forget everything. This is a continuation of my previous Recap of Races from the beginning of the year.

Kettle Morraine 100k- 6/7/08- This race was 31.5 miles out and back on trail. The trail was easy to follow, so you needed conversation to keep you interested. There were longer hills, although not too high, that required more hill training than what I prepared for (big surprise). Tons of rocks and roots that made your feet hurt at the end. I would do this race again only if I wanted to run this distance at a halfway-nearby place...otherwise I kind of got bored with the path. Oh ya, it's SUPER hot and muggy in June.

Silverlake 50/50- 8/23/08- I intended on running the 50 miles and I only made it about 17 or something. I didn't finish because of my own personal desire at that time- it did not have to do with the course. The race consisted of 4 12.5 mile loops on trail. There were a bunch of small hills that you could run up; nothing too challenging. The course in itself was interesting and kept you interested; or at least you had to pay attention to what you were doing. Speaking of- my main complaint was that the trail was open to the public and bikers would speed down the hills from the other direction. It was scary because a lot of times, you couldn't tell a biker was coming because of the careful! I would do this race again- or at least the 50k portion. Oh ya, the finish line is at the beach so you can rinse your sweaty body off afterwards! Yum.

Dances With Dirt- Hell- 50 Miles-9/6/08- I loved this race, as I loved the other DWD-Gnawbone race. It has a random trail path that you have to try to follow the whole time and pay attention to. You should expect to get really lost and should consider yourself very lucky if you don't. There are big and small hills- but it's fine if you walk up them. You go through nasty lakes, swamps, and mud bogs. It's a lot of fun!! Expect to get dirty and stinky.

Akron Marathon- 9/27/08- This is a paved race with a lot of long, gradual hills. There is a section with what seems to be a 3+mile long hill around mile 16-19 or so. There are some smaller hills near the finish line, too. Be prepared. The race is a good challenge and tests your strength. If I'm interested in squeezing in another marathon for the year, I might consider doing it again. Knees were sore afterwards, partly due to the pavement.

Columbus Marathon- 10/19/08- Flat, PR-able, paved, partly-downhill marathon. This is the race to run to qualify for Boston. The course runs through the city and through residential neighborhoods. Actually to be honest, I don't think I would have liked the race as much if I wasn't trying to qualify for Boston or to PR. It's nice and all but nothing is exciting about it- it's just a flat course.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Easy" run on pavement

For some reason I actually wanted to go for a run when I got home from work today, despite the ugly, gray, windy, snowy, 27degree outsideness. (How do you know if you're supposed to write "gray" or "grey"? I typed in "grey" and it made me capitalize it. I though "Gray" was for the name...It's like "worse/worst, farther/further, who/whom, caca/kaka"... you never know which one to use). I probably made myself go run because every Monday I eat a ton for dinner at the n-laws and then feel like crap on Tuesday morning. Now I won't feel so guilty.

Unfortunately I only had time for a 45 minute run since it gets dark so early these days. I had a good run though. Speaking of- How come I'm all happy that I ran for 45 minutes? Because it's the most training I've done in a long time?

Anyway, it was cold out but surprisingly nice and refreshing after a few minutes. If only I could remember ahead of time that once you get going, it gets warmer--then I'd not dread these winterish runs so much.

Friday, November 14, 2008

the beauty of trails almost forgotten...

You all will be very pleased to hear that I finally got a decent workout in yesterday. I went to the gym and did about 30 minutes on the Stair Master and then about 30 minutes of weights/other exercises.

I then left and finally went to Eagle Creek. I ran a stretch of 10minutes 4 times. I have to admit, I stopped for about 1 minute after each stretch- I was seriously tired. NOW, I'm blaming part of my tiredness on the fact that I had just gotten done with the weights/stair master thing and part of it on my own lack of training.

But holy moly- I had totally forgotten how much harder/different trails are than plain ole pavement. It's nuts! I can't remember the last time I ran on trail- probably the DWD-Hell in September.

It felt great to get out on the trails but it made me sad that they weren't super easy for me. I forgot you have to jump around, climb things (well, not really), dodge stuff, pay attention; all that jazz.

I like this blogger's summary of trails vs pavement. He talks about the common things trail running includes- such as you'll run slower on trails, you better slow down or you'll fall, no cars, etc.

Speaking of, I had a couple of close calls yesterday on the ankle rollovers. Almost every inch of the trails were covered in leaves and so I was very lucky to not have fallen on over the millions of rocks and roots.

So anyway, yesterday's run was enough motivation to get back out there more. We'll see what this afternoon brings.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Summing up 2008's Running History

It's been hard to maintain my motivation/mileage but I've just about completed a whole year of running/races without a break. As you can see from my blog, I used to just average 1 little race a year. I don't believe it was until I finished my first trail run, Tecumseh, that something hit me...
I could actually keep running year round and I would therefore never have to "train" for a long run. I would keep my endurance up and forget about the 18+ weeks of training for one yearly marathon. Brilliant.

So, that's the plan that Chris and I have stuck with this past year and after Tecumseh, we will have completed 10 races in 2008. Our plan worked, but with a downside to it.

We ran a race almost once a month of marathon+ distance and then ran shorter runs in between.
This was great and definitely took off all pressure and nerves that you get before a run. Normally if you only train for one big race a year, you're so pressured to do well during that run that if you don't, you'll hate yourself forever.
  • That's what happened to me after my first marathon in 2004, the Chicago Marathon. I expected to run at least a 3:30 since that's what I had trained for. I was so pressured to keep that pace and so worried about it that I had negative energy and ended up running a 3:47. After the race, I was disappointed with myself for a long time.

So anyway, the downside to Chris and my plan was that we didn't put too much mileage in inbetween the races. I don't think I ever ran more than 10 miles at one time inbetween the races- maybeee 1-3x at most. On the other hand, that's what worked for us. We're both busy people (like everyone else) and for me personally, having an intense weekly running schedule was not my top priority.

I don't know what 2009 will look like. The majority of the races in 2008 were all new to me. What do I do next year, just run the same ones again? Is that as fun? I know you'd recommend me to find other races elsewhere, but I am trying to save a little bit of money. Sheesh.

Right now I'm pretty sure I'd like to run a 100 mile race, perhaps the Mohican Trail Run next summer. If I'm cutting back on the number of races I do (although I haven't decided that for sure), that means I'll be forced to discpline myself to get in the miles and train. Dangit...then here comes that pressure I talked about again- Training for one big race.

We'll see. We're still in November and who knows what's to come...heck, I could break my ankle and be screwed for the next 5 years for all I know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I'm trying to force myself to exercise more but it's getting hard...and I keep eating sweets in the meantime- DANGIT.

I realized I wasted 25 minutes yesterday on the elliptical. I never get on it and I decided to get a different cardio workout yesterday. I chose the "hill workout" but didn't select a level since I didn't know how to. I noticed my legs were moving really fast and I was sweating a ton but after 25 minutes, it said I only burned about 60 calories. Once my friend came in the room I realized it's not a workout at all if you don't select at least a level 4 or something. No wonder it was so easy. Sooo....I got the heart rate up but it was a waste of my time. And even though I did it wrong, I still think I was burning more than 60 calories. Come on, I'm probably burning 100 right now by just typing this.

After the elliptical I went to the treadmill for just 2 miles. I know, it's dinky work. I hate the treadmill.

And I still haven't done a trail run for awhile now....dangit.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Newly Found Post-Running Awesome Snack

My friends are in Chile now for 4 1/2 months and they left behind their big dog, Kaiser. Unless I visit him during this time, I've been told that this poor dog will not get walked at all. Of course feeling guilty, I took him on a run this afternoon at the canal.

He had tons of energy and so he pulled me super fast in the beginning. I didn't like it but I was keeping up. Literally after 10 minutes, the dang dog got tired and started walking! How annoying! Don't dogs know how to pace themselves? So since I didn't want him to die on me, we walked some so he could catch his breath. For the next 10 minutes we walked some, ran some, etc.

It's too bad that dog's out of shape because it was perfect weather and started to sprinkle, too. I wanted to at least get in 30 minutes of running but it didn't happen.

So anyway- to relate to the title of this post- I came home and I was bored. As usual, I stand at the freezer and fridge and expect some great, magical food that I haven't noticed the past 2 weeks to jump out at me. Nothing looked good but since I was bored, I felt like I had to eat something. I grabbed the bag of frozen blueberries and my life has been different ever since.

YUMMMMMY- that's my awesome new snack. Eating the blueberries frozen somehow hit the spot after a run. I've always loved blueberries but how come I never ate them frozen after a workout? They're refreshing, half-way hydrating, healthy, and delicious. Put them in a little bowl and eat them.

I just finished off the bag and since I'm still bored, I'm going to go make chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Summer Buckeye Trail---Mandatory Community Service???

I've never run the Summer Buckeye Trail but I have run the Winter Buckeye Trail (which is unfortunately already sold out). I had a really good time at the winter race and was looking forward to running the summer race in 2009. I heard that the summer trail was more challenging, but a lot of fun.

So anyway, I just got an email (see below) stating that there are new qualifications for the summer race. They are requiring (although I don't know how they'll keep track) each runner to perform 3 hours of volunteer work- either by volunteering during a race or by doing other work at a park.

I'm in a dilema. On the one hand- if you are lacking volunteers or if you just want people to help out more to be a good citizen and what not, I can see why you would want to make these 3 hrs be mandatory in order to participate in your race. On the other hand- this race is 5hrs+ from my house and it is very unlikely that I will drive to OH on a separate occasion to work for 3 hours. Therefore from what I understand, I'd be ineligible to run this race.

Here's the email:

"Summer Buckeye Trail 50K – New Qualifications for 2009
Every participant that enters into the Buckeye Trail 50k for 2009 will have to fulfill 3 hours of volunteer duty
This can be done through volunteering at a running event (road or trail) and/or volunteer hours at a local park
Many events and parks have opportunities to volunteer
Volunteer forms will be posted along with the Buckeye Trail registration form in the spring of 2009
If you have any questions please email Vince:"

Is this normal? Do you think they'll really get the same amount of participants running and volunteering to work the 3 hrs?

I know 3 hours is not a long time at all and that so many people always volunteer their time to help out during the races, for free and in the cold. Butttttt....why can't I just pledge to volunteer at some other random race that's near my house so that I can still run the race?

Vamos a ver...