Sunday, May 1, 2011

Training Run on May Day!

Swing your partner round and round, do-ce-do, oops wrong occasion!

Yes, it is May Day, a holiday I know zero about, apparently something like Labor Day. It has nothing to do with square dancing but the picture reminded me of whooping it up in 4th grade in Tennessee...ahhh, memories!

Today is my first run in May and as I wrote in the last 'Long Run' post, my asthma was directed to disappear into a cave or bother someone else. It is also pretty hot in AZ and it feels like the kickoff to summer running season so I was excited. Plus I had a doctor visit scheduled for Monday and I was hoping for either a massive 'roid injection or a "You're fine. Marathon next weekend? Go for it!" from the doc. ;)

Usually the long runs are on Saturday, but I had a rough Thursday and Friday so I could not muster the mental strength to run on Saturday. I needed to be ready for work by 7:30 A.M., so Jeff agreed to a 5:30 run on Sunday. I looked forward to a quieter field along the canal. Jeff wanted to run 8 miles and I negotiated to 6. As much as I liked flirting with my cute podiatrist, I really wanted to run, skip and walk
without plantar fasciitis greeting my a$$ every morning! Sorry Dr. H., I am going for 0 more visits!!

We took off, following the usual route, heading north to the canal. Again the pace for these long runs is supposed to be 10:30-11:00 and once again we ran too fast. Thanks a lot, Mr. Ego McGeyer!

We ran west on the canal and slowly increased the pace. :( When we reached the 3-mile mark just north of 24th Street, I expected us to briefly walk for a GU gel and water. That did not happen, but I slowed down to sip a little water and Jeff kept going. I slowed down a bit more to eat the GU but I struggled so I walked at mile 3.75. I started running again at mile 4. The walk did me good and my pace got close to 10:00 for the last 2 miles. I stayed steady and finished 6 miles in 1:02:15, average 10:21 pace, 3 minutes after Jeff.

The Arizona Road Racers Summer Series starts in 4 weeks. I signed up for the entire series, 5 races between 5/28-8/14. Last year I only ran the last one. I will miss the ARR race on 7/16 to run the 2nd Annual Brown Center for Autism 5K with my brother and sister in TN. My goal is to beat 29:30, PR set last year. Hopefully running the first 3 races in AZ heat will prepare me for TN humidity! ;)
Happy May Day and happy summer running! :D

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Training in April...should I just stay inside?

are honeysuckles really that sweet? I don't think so!

April 1-27, 2011

My loyal followers (yes, only 6, but everyone started with 0, right?!) know that I have asthma. Yep, my whole life and it sucks. Before I moved to Arizona, I usually spent most of March and April in an oxygen tent. During my senior year in high school, I missed 3 straight weeks in April and almost did not graduate because my Calculus teacher thought I was skippin'. We no longer talk...
even at home, my mother wore her nurse's uniform

Fast forward to 2000 and my delusional idea to move to AZ for relief from breathing problems. Instead of using current medical information found on that new-fangled thing called the Internet, I relied on the encyclopedia and discovered that the desert southwest was perfect for allergy and asthma sufferers. So I sold my junk at a few garage sales, packed up the rest of the stuff in my tiny Acura and drove west.

The first 5 years were pretty good and I was rarely sick other than mornings after the pub crawls. Then I started teaching, got pink eye (excuse me, conjunctivitis) every February, and put my pharmacist back on speed dial in March and April. 2006, sick; 2007, sicker; 2008, very sick; 2009, medical leave.

Last spring was better! I had spent 10 months away from work, trained for hiking and running challenges, vacationed in Hawaii, took daily naps, you know, living the good life!! I also spent a good amount of time inside the gym, running on the treadmill, and skipped races from March-May.

I ran races in June-August, returned to full-time work in early August, saw my doctor on schedule and kept running steadily again in late September. Thought I would be fine this Spring.

I struggled this month. I smelled every honeysuckle and rhododendron bush I passed. Other people relish the smell of fresh cut grass, but my bronchial tubes contracted a little tighter. Jeff's biggest dilemma was whether to wear the support hose in black or white. I wondered if I should leave the extra GU to bring an epi pen instead. I really like exercising outside but I may have to take it inside next time. Unless McGeyer invents a lightweight, portable Nebulizer!

Jeff and I were out there 3-4 times a week + 2 hikes and logged about 60 miles in April. That's nothing to sneeze at.... ;)

Friday, April 22, 2011

LSD ... Training Run, I Gave Up the Other Stuff!

I know it is technically LSR (long slow run) but I like the title acronym!

It is my day off for Good Friday and I woke up slightly later than normal to go for a training run. Yeah, I am that dedicated! Ironically Jeff wanted to meet at 6:30 A.M. and I asked him to meet at 6. Crazy, right?! Amazingly enough, it was strategic. I knew how long we would be on the road
so I wanted the least amount of sun beating down on me as possible. Yes, in Phoenix, 30 minutes can make a difference!

I got to his house, late as usual, and after a silly debate about wearing a hat or sunglasses, we took off at 6:15. Jeff has an interesting, staggered marathon training plan so he wanted to run 8 miles this morning (normally Saturday). I said 6 miles was the max for me with my April asthma and plantar fasciitis issues. The pace for these runs is supposed to be 10:30-11:00 and I needed that pace. Sometimes I run faster than this pace but lately I have struggled with a faster pace even with short runs.

We headed north to the canal and encountered few people as we ran west on the canal. The traffic picked up around 32nd Street and I welcomed any chance to stop for a brief moment. We reached the 3-mile mark just west of 24th Street and we stopped for chit chat, a GU gel and water. At this point, I planned to walk another 0.25-0.5 mile, then walk back same section before running the 3 miles back to Jeff's house. Jeff thought we would not meet up again so we said, "Hasta luego." It felt weird to walk when my legs felt good but I knew I had to go back 3.5 miles. So I just enjoyed the calm of the morning while walking. Then I turned around and started slowly running again at mile 4. I figured out pace-wise that Jeff would catch up to me if I ran a little slower, I was approximately 4 minutes ahead of him when I started running again.

I was right! Jeff caught up to me at mile 4.5. He obviously had been running longer and needed to walk and catch his breath briefly around mile 5. I did not mind because I am a terrific running partner! Jeff, however, caught his breath and then his ego took over!! We crossed back over 32nd Street and the pace picked up, getting closer and closer to 10:00. Granted, we were running downhill but definitely off the 10:30 mark! Jeff asked if I wanted to run faster during the last mile and I said, "GAMF!" He went ahead and I wanted to stay steady and avoid lung ejection syndrome. I finished 7 miles in 1:23:34, 2 minutes after Jeff and his 8 miles. I felt good about this run. The last time I ran that distance or more was 2/12, the day p.f. came to visit and overstayed its welcome! I still need R.I.C.E. but feel really good about my summer running. :D

Asthma, you are on notice: be gone by 5/1 or else!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pat's Run 2011

6th race in 2011: 4/16/2011, 4.2 miles, Tempe, AZ.
[half way to my 2011 goal if anyone is paying attention!]

Man, that shower was awesome! :D Ok, let's backup 5 hours....

A beautiful day for a race and remembering a hero! My first time running Pat's Run!! Geyer picked up at 5:30 A.M., we drove to the rail station, hopped on the light rail after a brief wait, and mocked runners and families alike along the way. Shortly after arriving at the start area, a woman tried to
subtly flirt / stalk talk with Jeff. She was trying to find the race bib pickup area and I guess she thought we would know since we were wearing one. Great job coming prepared...that will win races! I am sure she beat both of us but I doubt it!!

Jeff and I started in corral 5 so we took off about 7 minutes after the official 7:00 A.M. start. We stayed together for maybe the first minute, then he weaseled through a rare opening in the densely packed course and I lost sight of him after another 5 minutes of running. My plan was to run slower but steady, being careful with my foot and lungs. Jeff told me about the first hill at Curry so I was prepared though my quads ached more in that section than I expected. He forgot about the hill on Rural at mile 3 and that almost did me in! I told myself to keep running though my lungs were tight. The climb into the stadium was initially daunting but I knew that I was close and inspired by the moment. I finished the 4.2 mile course in 41:08, 52 seconds faster than my goal...YAY! Then I found Jeff who had finished 3 minutes earlier, setting a new PR for this race. We found bananas, oranges, Powerade, water and chillaxed in the stadium, watched other people finish their race. People kept running in and running in and running in...the sea of people did not stop! Inspiration all around.

So, yeah the shower felt great when I got home. A great day for a morning race! Pretty soon we will get to the races that start at 6:30 A.M. Yikes it is getting hot!

Now I am due for a nap. Do you think I could get a job as an air traffic controller too? Jeez! :D

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Training Runs / Pre-Race Report / Shot needed

A few more training runs since the ARR South Mountain Classic, trying to be careful with this plantar-faking L foot and get rid of my smoker's congestion at the same time. In April, I ran on 4/1, 4/2, 4/4, 4/6, skipped a week, ran this morning, and have 1 more run on Friday morning Thursday evening. Other than running 5 miles on 4/2 (earlier post), the other runs have been 3.1-3.3 miles between 10.37-13.33 average pace. The pain comes and goes but it is there every day. I feel like I cannot ice my foot enough during the day and sometimes I only ice it at night. Last Sunday, I worked almost all day doing the latte grind + a special event so my foot was screaming that night. Dr. H. told me to come back before the end of the week to get another steroid shot since he knew I was determined to run the next race. I went back to see Dr. H. this afternoon, flirted a bit, got the shot, and now the foot is numb until midnight. I also bought the suggested arch support inserts but forgot to put them in my shoes for the run this morning. I am curious to see if they make a difference. Check out the picture below. I am still learning the language but they look comfortable!
Only a few days left until I race in Pat's Run for the 1st time. I am excited and amazingly enough, not nervous like I usually am before a race. The race is 4.2 miles and I expect to run the entire time. I have had some bronchial congestion and tightness. Thankfully my legs have felt great so I am running on that positive note! I am carpooling with Geyer to the light rail (only $3.50 all day), riding the rail into Tempe, and walking a short distance to the start line.

Jeff is gunning to beat his time last year (38:33, 9.12 average pace, crazy fast!) and I wish him the best...gotta set goals and go for it. I, however,
gloated lovingly told told Jeff that I am happy to set an automatic PR since I have never raced this distance. I would like to run a 10:00 pace but am little unsure with current bronchial challenges, the foot and the 30,000 amateurs people I am sharing the course with this Saturday morning. I just hope I can do better than the last 5K in 50:10! All in all, I expect a fun, local event for a good cause & may see a few friends too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shoot Me Up!

Ok, my foot is nothing like this, thank goodness it is only plantar fasciitis! ;)

So I went back to the doctor after 3 weeks of R.I.C.E., barely running, watching the entire season of Mad Men on Netflix, and tending to my garden (my peppers are growing and yours will get eaten by N so suck it Geyer!). Of course, per doctor instructions, I could have done cross training at the gym but I nixed that plan and decided to gain a few pounds. That will make the depressing news of no running easier to take, right?!

I arrive at the office, check in, pay the co-pay charge AGAIN and sit down to read the latest issue of Edible Phoenix while I wait for the doctor in an exam room. Ok, this is where they (conspiratorial physician vampires) suck you in. I waited almost no time for the 1st visit with the doc and waited 30 minutes for this follow-up visit. After 15 minutes, I told the receptionist that I had another appointment. She said, "The doctor is about 15 minutes behind schedule." Well, I am glad that someone can tell time. I thought I was too early! 'WTF is he getting here?' is all I want to know? Turns out someone has trouble telling time as Dr. H. saunters in after 30 minutes just as I am re-scheduling my next appointment.

Dr. H: How are you? How is the foot?
Me: Everything is great. My foot feels better than ever! Just thought I would read and relax in a cold, sterile room for the evening and say 'Hi'.
Dr. H: Appreciate the lies. Let's check out the foot.
Me: I walked the ARR race instead of winning it, my kids laughed unmercifully and my RP got twice as many miles as me that week. It still hurts alot and I am tired of the couch potato routine. Have you developed that magic pill yet?
Dr. H: Well, is the pain decreasing like running down 32nd Street after a hill run or is it up and down like the rolling hills of the South Mountain course?
Me: Listen, foot fetish man, pain is pain is pain and I have pain every day. Can you just give me that shot again so I can beat Jake Plummer during Pat's Run this Saturday? I think I have a shot at it...get it?...hahahaha!
Dr. H: Your foot feels fine but you can drop in (we know what that means without a scheduled appointment) on Friday.
Me: Great! See you Friday. Gotta to get a bikini that is pain I will pay for any time!!

Stay tuned...shot is coming, I promise!

Keeping me waiting for 30 minutes = cleaning up this nasty nail for FREE, right?! ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Saturday Training Run

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I ran with Jeff and Norman (crazy funny chocolate Lab) this morning...again! ;)

I hiked on Wednesday afternoon and ran on Friday morning so I was nervous about my foot. We often run long on Saturday but I had to walk during ARR South Mountain Classic 5K last Saturday. In addition, I typically have serious allergy/asthma problems in March and April. Our goal for this "long" run was
100 5 miles. We started at 7:45 A.M. (late for us), already H-O-T! We walked for about 0.5 mile and also walked about 0.25 mile at the 2.5 mile turnaround. Lots of cyclists, runners and walkers on the canal...not used to sharing space, but we survived. Jeff ran faster during the last mile and I remained slow and steady...again. I finished 5.05 miles in 58 minutes for a slow 11:34 average pace. I finished the last section at 9:28, had negative splits other than the brief walk at halfway mark and felt good about my legs and the mileage. But I knew my L foot would need ice throughout the day...again...boring! :s