Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Roller Coaster that is Life

Man, there are times when I just feel like I am riding a roller coaster - with running, life, everything.  This past week, I've had the best race experience (previously reported here), great mid-week runs, and a wonderful weekend getaway - all followed by one of the crappiest long runs I've had in a long time.

A Weekend Away

Let's start with the weekend. Saturday I was invited to spend a night with a group of ladies at a cottage up north.  If spending some time with four of my favorite running friends wasn't good enough, what made it even better was just getting away.

You can tell the group consisted of runners.
When I first told the Hubby about the invite, I expected rolling of eyes, gnashing of teeth, tearing out of hair (I don't get out much).  Instead what I got was a very supportive, sure, we'll make it work out.  So, Saturday morning around 10:45, with my bags packed and directions printed, I said good-bye to Hubby, E., and LG and hit the road.  An hour-and-a-half drive later, and I was there.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  The last trip I had done without the family had been two years previously, so I felt a bit out of practice when it comes to being on my own for a getaway.  I shouldn't have worried, though; I had a blast.  We were only gone for 24 hours, but we crammed a lot of shopping, food, wine, cards, and talking into that time.  I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time.

Cards held high to protect the innocent.
I am glad that I enjoyed myself so much, because it became apparent that when I got home I wasn't missed as much as I had thought I would be.  While I expected shouts of joy when I walked through the door, I got "oh, hi."  Seeing as everyone was ensconced in a rousing game of Batman on the Wii, I was barely acknowledged.  When pressed later, LG even admitted proudly that he hadn't missed me a bit.  "No, really.  I'm not lying.  I didn't miss you."  Feeling the love here.  The other thing I missed by being away was E. being sick.  Apparently too much spinning around at the park. Hubby took it all in stride and all was good.

One thing about being away with a bunch of running friends is that - of course - the talk turned to running, so I came home with some good ideas on how to start introducing speed work into my regimen.  I'll be putting them into play in the next week or so, so we'll see how that goes.

The Need for Speed

Speaking of speed work, I had already started playing around with it this past Friday, and that went okay.  The kids had the day off so that left me having to get in five miles on the treadmill.  This is not my favorite thing to do.  Aside from the fact that I am just not a treadmill type of gal, stopping every few minutes to yell at LG for throwing legos is not fun.
Rule #1: Don't throw the legos near the treadmill.  Rule #2: Don't throw the legos near the CF light bulb!  
Anyway, I thought since I was a captive audience anyway, I might as well use it to my advantage.  So, after doing a two-mile warm-up, which included me wearing my new Cortanas, I switched back to the Pegasus and started the speed workout.  What I chose to do, based on Hubby's recommendation was to try for three two-minute intervals at a speed as fast as I could stand.  I didn't exactly know what that would be, so it was trial and error for a bit there.  After managing only one minute at 7:30 pace for my first interval, I decided to take it down to 8:00 pace.  That at least was a pace I could manage for two minutes.I wouldn't say that this first attempt at speedwork went terribly, but it definitely was a challenge.  My legs were feeling it for the couple of days after.

I have worn the Cortanas twice now and the jury is still out 
on whether or not I love them.  I definitely like them.  
They feel really comfortable, but I still need to get used 
to the 4mm drop.  They are really taxing my shins 
and calves right now, so I am hoping a couple of 
miles twice a week will be enough to help me work into them.
Seven Miles and Counting

Given the weekend away, I didn't get in my long run Sunday, so yesterday morning after dropping LG off at school, I headed out.  I fully intended to do my typical Sunday routine of two hours of exercise - running and elliptical.  Yeah, that didn't work out.  I got the run in - seven miles outside in the mild temps.  Unfortunately, my first seven miler since the injury became acute didn't feel really comfortable.  I don't know if it's the time change, repercussions from too much wine on the weekend or what, but running was a struggle.  I was tired, and I seemed to be suffering more aches and pains than usual.  I didn't help myself out either.  I was really shooting for an average pace of 10:00 to 10:30, which I achieved (10:10 for the whole run), but the first four miles or so were done at an average 9:40 pace, so faster than I would have liked.  Try as I might, though, I couldn't get my pace down to 10:00 comfortably - well, that is, until I crashed and really slowed down.  I can see where the run/walk might come in handy.

Once back inside, I managed about ten minutes on the elliptical before calling it quits.  It wasn't that I was tired, rather the inside of my left knee was hurting.  I've had this happen one time before on the elliptical, and I am not sure what causes it, but it's a show stopper.  With any luck, like the time before, this won't become a regular fixture of elliptical usage.  Also, hopefully with a couple of days of better sleep, I'll be feeling a bit more energized all around.  Happy running!

No-Chocolate Challenge: Day 21 - Still no chocolate here, and I have even resisted serious get-out-of-town weekend temptation.  Take that, Challenge!

No-Chocolate Challenge: Day 18 - Faced with bowls full of
peanut and regular M&Ms, I resisted.
There was some debate on whether
the Chocolate Raspberry Port should actually be
considered chocolate or not.
After checking out the contents of a glass,
it was decided that this was NOT chocolate.


  1. Good job saying 'no' to the real chocolate! I'm excited to hear how your speed-work training goes.

    1. Thanks, Ann! It sure wasn't easy! Unfortunately, to make up for the lack of chocolate, I had three delicious, homemade pecan bars. Soooooo, I can't say I was completely strong-willed. :) But no chocolate. Yeah, I am curious about the speed work, too. This is a completely new concept for me, but strangely I find it kind of fun - like a game I am playing. I'll be curious to see if I can win it without hurting myself. :)

  2. I loved the article above and the pics. It was a great weekend and I'm glad I got to know you better. You are a very nice person. Good Job on your speedwork. It's hard but worth it at race time! :) Keep writing.

    1. Thanks, Christine! It was great getting to know you better too! I really enjoyed the weekend and hope we all can do it another time as well. Have fun with the start of your marathon streak this weekend!

  3. I think you have helped to give me the optimism to talk to dear hubby about the girls' night being planned for late April. A night away from the to do this??

    1. Yay! I hope you manage to get away! I have to say for me it was totally worth it. I had a lot of doubts going into it, but I haven't relaxed so much in a long time. There is something about having no responsibilities that just makes you appreciate things so much more when you are back. And, at least in my case, I was hardly missed. I think the kids and Hubby bonded nicely and somehow all is good. :) I definitely see doing more of these as the opportunities arise. Good luck on your own trip!