May 28, 2010

mental notes.

So there are many things running (haha) through my head.

- I am now addicted to reading running blogs. Reading about other people’s experiences, the tools they use, recommendations, even down to music lists – they are all very inspirational. One in particular that I cannot get enough of is the No Meat Athlete blog. Being a veggo myself, I feel a lot of the information written pertains to my situation.

- The more reading and research I do, a few key concepts keep coming up…

o Speed training. I’ve been putting in the mileage but if I’m being honest with myself, I haven’t been putting in the hard work – the sweat, the tears… the aches and pains. I run – slowly more often than not. I realize I need to start stepping up the workouts – incorporating more hills, more speed work, more stretching and cross training. I am going to do more hills and start incorporating Yasso 800s into my weekly workout (this will replace a run).

o Diet. I have noticed that my appetite has soared but am probably not eating enough of the right foods to have sustained energy levels. Upon a recent trip into GNC, I was lectured about the importance of fish oil, multivitamins and protein powder for recovery. I didn’t purchase anything because I want to do more research on the matter, but after reading numerous blogs, I am realizing what I put into my body within certain time frames of exercising is crucially important.

 Pre-Run… I hate eating anything before I run. My run last night (though a really terrific run), was uncomfortable due to something sloshing around in my stomach. That said, perhaps if I am eating the right things, I’d have more energy throughout my run.

 During-Run… As of yet, I haven’t taken anything (even water) during a run. To start getting used to carrying something as well as routinely eating something every 6 miles or so would be beneficial. For this weekend run, I’ll take a shot blok with me to see how it reacts to my stomach.

 Post-Run. The recovery. Typically I treat myself to an egg breakfast; however, within the first 15-40 minutes, I should take a liquid protein / carb drink to help supply my body with the nutrients it needs (otherwise my muscles steal from other parts of my body).

Yesterday’s run was fantastic. I set out with a mind to do 4 miles with a few hills. I ended up incorporating hill sprints into my run and overall ran 5 miles – at what felt like a strong pace (I didn’t actually time myself). After two days off, my legs were thanking me. This weekend’s run is down a few miles – so I’ll aim for between 9-10 miles. I also scheduled a massage for later that day simply because I think I need to work a few knots out.

Bring the pain.

May 27, 2010

this will be me the night before the marathon...

May 26, 2010

may showers

Exhibit A

Exhibit B


May 24, 2010

Clothing Malfunction

I decided the Dogan-Pre-Run is a good little exercise in preparation. I say this because today I discovered it's a good way to suss out the clothing situation. See today, after killing it on the bike by passing a group of yuppie cyclists (think latex, clip ons and jerseys... oh wait - I'm becoming one of them!) at 21mph, I tossed on the running shoes and set out with the dog. I was half considering trying to push Dogan through a 4-miler when... shit... major wedgie. The underwear were those girls brief shorts and the wedgie was unstoppable and unfixable. I dealt with it to the dog park but decided to avoid major injury and walk the rest of the way home. I'm the type of person that once I set out, I VERY rarely turn back. Had I left for a run, I probably would have dealt with the impending wedge up my ass - but luckily the Dogan-Pre-Run allowed me the chance to change into wedge-free shorts. Crisis avoided. 

Today I ran 6.11 miles (roughly 10k). I felt a bit sluggish on parts and I tried to shorten my stride to avoid injuries later on in the week (meaning my knees). That said, I did pass two girls which felt pretty damn good. Today was also an i-pod day - so my pace naturally quickens pending on music. I iced my knees when I got home which only seemed to stiffen my joints even more. It's now 9:26, officially dark outside and my eyelids are struggling to stay awake. 

Volleyball tomorrow - so likely no run. 

I like the Cliff Cran-Razz shot blocks. Perhaps a little too much...


These charts are one of my major motivations to getting my tukkus out the door. I LOVE (e.g. LOVE) entering in my numbers every day.

Week 6... Still not following a set pattern!

Runs overall - I got my own chaotic pattern I guess!

May 23, 2010


Last week was hard. I started the week strong with a 7 and 6 mile weekday run - in good time too. But it took a toll on my knees and I started to experience soreness in everyday movements. As a result, I took Thursday and Friday off from running. At a certain point, running becomes a drug. Whether it's the endorphin high, self-image or even the justification for that pizza the other night - without it I start to become frustrated. It's a void in my daily routine that if prolonged, can start to effect my attitude. 

My days off plus shit Portland weather equaled a very resistant-to-running-Beth come Saturday morning. Saturday my goal was between 11-12 miles but unlike last weekend, I wasn't amped up, I wasn't excited and to be honest, I was coming up with every excuse to post-pone until Sunday. Regardless, I geared up in my sweats, tied my laces, opened the door and.... promptly shut it again. Pouring rain in 50 degree weather. Not a drizzle, a light wafting of water in the air - downpour. So I called my inspiration hotline (aka Becs) and told her of my woes. 

Her advice? The hardest part is getting out the door. Just get out there and start and you'll start to feel better. Also to not consider the run as 11 miles, but rather than <2 hours of running. I can do anything for two hours... within reason. So after the rain subsided, I dug out my Boston Red Sox baseball cap and headed out. For the first 6 miles, I did feel good. No knee pain - no rain. Hell, I even took off my long-sleeve shirt. It wasn't until around mile 9 that I started to feel my tibias tighten up. A few times I stopped to stretch out - which felt amazing until I had to start running again (at which point my body started to scream very foul things at me). Amazingly enough it didn't rain on me the entire time I ran - but as I started to come to the final stretch, I could see the pregnant impending storm clouds. It was motivation enough to get my ass back home in decent time; however, when I mapped out my run I was terribly frustrated that I was just shy of my 11 mile goal. That said, within 2 minutes of arriving home, the clouds broke open with rain.

Sure, 0.21 of a mile isn't much - but after I had put in all those miles prior - it still felt like a let down. Oh well - it's behind me now. I look forward this upcoming week, getting some good distances in and making sure I'm taking care of my body (yoga practice starts up again this week!). 


May 20, 2010

i thought it was may...?

Been doing longer runs this week (7+ and 6.2) and they've felt good though my right knee is starting to become consistently sore. Not good I think? Will take it easy on today's run and ice afterwards. I want to hit my 12-13 mile goal this Saturday, so perhaps some rest will do it good.

Not sure if you've seen Portland's weather forecast recently, but it's wet, cold and miserable. Gotta push through it though - mind games go away!

May 19, 2010

Bay 2 Breakers 2010

Week 5 challenges included preparing for a weekend of fun and frivolity - and very little anticipated running. I got my major run in on a Thursday - which threw out of whack my normal running routine. I combine my 6.2 loop and my 5.5 loop for a grand total of 10.45 miles. Come the weekend, I was happy for the break.

Friday was spent traveling, basking in the sun on Stanford campus, eating delicious food and getting tipsy on expensive scotch. Needless to say, a Saturday run was not in the cards for this one! Sunday was the famous (infamous?) Bay to Breakers race - a unique San Fran 7-mile event from the Bay on Howard Street through Golden Gate Park to the ocean. Not knowing quite what to expect, my synopsis on the race is this: you either run it seriously and get as far front of the race as possible, or you dress up, grab a beer and party. It's hard to do both (which is what we did) because you are not running for time and you're not having nearly as much fun as those cheering you on in the wings (or on the course for that matter). I think out of the 7 miles, we probably ran about 3 in total. We did run up the hill (the only one on the course oddly enough) and it felt good to move after 2 days of drinking, eating and lazying about. I couldn't do any additional running on Sunday when I arrived home (though the weather was tempting!) to due to sheer exhaustion. That said, I start week 6.

Photos from the race...

I like to sport different colored hair for races...

This was just on one of the side streets - we weren't even on the race course yet...

These were the other variety of "runners" - the taunted us with their beer and shouting

There was a lot of this - walking, pointing and laughing...

Doesn't seem like it - but we're at the top of the big hill!

What's a race without a few leaps and bounds?

Happy to be done! In record time too! 2:19:20!

May 13, 2010

tick, tick, tick

So - as it turns out, I am not made for the mornings. I love them - they are beautiful and I have a sincere appreciation for them. I simply can not get out of bed to go running in the morning glory. So my run was switched to this afternoon.

Today's run was, up to this point, the furthest I have ever run. It felt pretty good, though I will have to start carrying some fluid around with me as I felt parched most of the way. 

So the ticks? My ankles. They won't shut up. I remember in high school having to creep up the stairs to turn off a hallway lamp - it was how my mother knew I got home okay. I remember not worrying about the steps creaking but my clicking ankles giving me away. I am a human metronome. The plus side to being so noisy is that pedestrians up ahead of me usually quickly turn around upon hearing my clicking ankles - as though some thing is approaching them from behind. It helps to clear the way for me to maneuver through them. I did some internet reading on it and the general consensus is that if it doesn't hurt, don't worry about it. I don't even want to think about what inside of me is actually making the clicking noises... I would just prefer to run and think my ankles are helping me keep rhythm.

The most exciting part of the run is the douche bag who nearly hit me while pulling out of his driveway. I think I scared him more than he did me. Fuckwit. Look both ways before pulling out douche! 

That said, 10 miles (10.45 to be exact) was a bit of a struggle. I read to have a few images stored in my mind for moments that get tough - I think about the happiest runs I've been on... I think about finishing the marathon. What actually did the trick though was thinking that I didn't have 1 mile left of 10 - that last mile was mile 25.2 and I had one more to finish. Surprisingly enough, these mental images do help and I revisit them often along my runs. 

Right now I'm exhausted, slightly achy and sore and ready for bed. This weekend is bay-to-breakers though the only corral we could get into was dead last (DFL). So I doubt it will be much of a race if we are able to muster a run at all - but it should be good fun and at the very least provide some humorous photos.

Today's run: 

May 12, 2010

5 am or pm?

My goal - my aim - my desire is to wake up at 5 am and run 10 miles. The reality? Likely that I shut my alarm off which plays pretty soothing music to me and roll over and I have to run the 10 miles at 5pm - which is tough considering it's after a long day, the dog still needs walking and I need to spend 2 hours running? This will be a challenge. We'll see what I'm made of tomorrow. 

Running with a side of life

Last year when my friends were training for the marathon, they were lame. They went to bed between 9-10 on Friday nights and running seemed to take over their life - the weird thing is they seemed to enjoy it.

Last night I played volleyball with my team and rather than go out for a few social beers afterwards, I tightened my laces and ran the long way home. I thought, "running is a very solitary activity... better be careful to not become a recluse or after the marathon I won't have any friends left". That said, I was far happier to be running than consuming a pitcher of beer on a Tuesday night (though that has its perks as well). This week is one of those weeks where I am struggling to balance the two. I'm headed to San Francisco this weekend and as a result, don't think I'll have much time for my Saturday run. A friend suggested I alter my schedule and do the long run on Thursday.

I've been trying to put in the miles prior to Thursday (still unsure of when I'll fit in the run on Thursday as well), but it's been difficult with the dog and other miscellaneous stuff that comes up (apartment viewing, volleyball...). I think the killer is the dog. It might be a good warm up run, but it also takes 30-40 minutes to take Dogan out and I can't begrudge him that - he's been cooped up in the house all day. Arg.

Needless to say, this week has been a struggle and will continue to be a struggle into the weekend. Perhaps I'll sneak out early Sat morning for a quick run...

Long run this week is supposed to be 10-11 miles. Updates to come soon!

May 9, 2010

Lucky # 9

I feel like I've kept to a good schedule this week - though weekday runs tend to be less intense perhaps than what they could be. Mind you, I start my runs after commuting to work by bike. I am nearly all trained up for a triathlon minus the swimming...

This weekend my goal was to run 9 miles. I was excited, pumping myself up the entire week and feeling positive about the distance. I mapped out my route prior to Saturday. I've never run straight south past Fremont before so I was curious how far I could get with 4.5 miles (there and back). As it turns out, I could run from Killingsworth to Division (almost exactly 4.5 miles). If you're not familiar with Portland, Killingsworth and Division are the north and south boundaries of being considered "close-in" to the center of the city (more or less). Except if I ever had to drive to Division, I would consider a major pain in the ass. Anyhow... back to the run.

The first 4.5 miles were easy - slight downhill the entire way. I thought to myself while running, "shit, I wonder what the incline will be coming back (I was taking a different street back). Well what goes down must come back up! The run back was pretty good - a bit slower than the first half, but I felt strong. In total the run was 9.33 miles and I felt like I could have kept going... which is good because next weekend is 10 miles! 

Might be time to start running with a group! 

Saturday's Run: 

May 6, 2010

The Wednesday "hump"

Impending storm clouds over Portland
It so happened that I was able to carpool with my roommate yesterday, so I was able to run home from work (luckily this time without a backpack and the subsequent shoulder pain). Yet it seemed everything that could, went wrong. First off, I had to carry my phone, a few cards and my keys. The cards and keys were not such a big deal, but the weight of my iphone smacked across my ass (it was in the pocket of an extra fleece tied around my waist) and was thoroughly distracting.
Beautiful greens and blooms on an upward climb

Not even 1/2 a mile in, it started to downpour. Not a little sprinkle or mist - a complete soaking downpour. On top of it, I was in downtown Portland, so I had to keep stopping at lights. Eventually it let up, but the damage was done - I was wet with a smacked ass and no running groove. When the rain did stop and the sun came out (it's a miracle!), I put the phone in my palm which was much better. I trucked onwards and eventually got home... when I mapped it out later that night, it was actually 4.5 miles - which was a surprise because it only felt like 3 or 4 at most. Not my best run, but at least I put in the miles.

Today's Run:

The oddest photo - it's the cap to my hat... but I'm not there!

May 4, 2010

Bay to Breakers 2010

Registered and excited. Now I just need a costume!

May 3, 2010

whoa - week 4

Starting strong in the week...

Ran 4.87 miles today. I decided that my runs with Dogan won't count toward my daily total anymore. Even though I am jogging - it's too slow and too stop / start for me to really get into a groove. They are excellent warm ups though and range between 1-2 miles.

Tonight's run was beautiful - the weather gods helped to keep the clouds parted for the duration of my run - even though a slight sprinkle and daunting clouds were pregnant with rain on all sides of me. I was a bit slow to get into the groove but the many thoughts wandering through my head helped to distract me. By mile two I was coasting - not thinking about the run at all. I wandered straight up 21st - a street I haven't yet been on - and it was beautiful. Gorgeous large houses with huge overhanging trees. The sun cast bright yellow light on the leaves and contrasted by the dark rain clouds, the sky was alight with color. By the time I got home, it hardly felt like I had run just under 5 miles. It felt more like 3. I fancy this running thing is getting easier!

Today's run:

I've carefully planned out my meals for this week to ensure that I am getting enough carbs to keep my muscles going all week long. A few weeks ago I did a 3-week cleanse diet and my weight went from 138 to 130. Since I've been teetering between 130-132. Now with all the running I've now dropped to 128. Though I don't miss the now-gone weight, I do need to have enough food to sustain me on my runs - hell to sustain me through the week. With running in the evenings, I've also done a bunch of meal prep to help ease the stress of cooking a big meal after a long day. I've steered towards cleanse-friendly foods, but have made a few exceptions (because life is all about exceptions after all). Tonight's dinner was spelt noodles with pine nuts, onions, garlic, black olives and feta cheese.

Ahh - sleep.
Week 3 (x=day y=miles)
My runs are in orange. I'm starting to follow a pattern...

May 1, 2010

Saturday 8 miler - check.

On my run today, I kept thinking to myself, 8 miles in a marathon is just the warm up Beth - better start getting used to it. The weather was cooler, partially sunny, slight breeze and overall a very comfortable running climate. I ran at around 8:30 (it was hard getting up this morning despite Dogan's best efforts). Around mile 3 I could feel the outer thighs start to get sore (or perhaps the right word is tight?). So I paused for a few moments to stretch them out before continuing. They didn't start hurting again until around mile 7. There are 2 things I think I need to do next week for my long run - 1. change up the route (e.g. neighborhood) and 2. run with a group that has pace setters. I think it would be good for me and perhaps provide that extra motivation to keep going strong in mile 9.

The highlight of this run: the dude who clapped me on from his porch - thanks clapping dude.

This week's 8 miler route....

Week 3
Total Mileage this week: 19.86 Longest Run: 8.44