Saturday, January 31, 2009

january 2009

01/09 started off with a bang. i ran a satisfying half-pr in disney and survived a 4-hour marathon the next day. (i still recommend the goofy, the entire weekend was a blast!) after 5.5 months of training for the goofy challenge, i gave myself a full week off and then eased back into running for the last two weeks of january. my mileage is a lot lower than i'd like, but i did technically take 2 weeks off from running when you add up all the rest & race recovery days.

total mileage: 120.85
time spent running: 18:06:09
days off: 14 (all scheduled rest days)
abs/yoga: 11 ab workouts/5 yoga sessions (a world record in both categories)
avg resting hr: 49.73
avg max hr: 181.13

put a ring on it

did you know how much more effective mopping is with hot water vs. cold? i just learned this yesterday, from my younger, college-student sister no less. i hate mopping because it takes me like 1.5 hours to mop the kitchen. she did it in like 15 minutes. (i paid for her gym membership for the semester and she's "working" it off.) i was amazed at how much easier it was. hot water, what a concept. (yes, i still have plenty to learn about being a 'grown up'.) i do want to try the whole cleaning-with-baking-soda-thing (does that make me a hippie? oh well) but i haven't looked into how to make that concoction yet.

alright as much as we all love household chores... moving on. my running life as of late:

thursday (1/29) non-run: yoga and some leg body-weights, essentially. (squats, lunges, squat jumps) and some more burpees... i'm a glutton for punishment it seems. having not done squat-like movements in months, i hobbled around with a sore rear and legs friday and saturday.

friday (1/30) am run: 5.5 miles easy, 51:24 (9:20 avg pace), avg/max hr (159/180)
yay for a non-working friday. i slept in (~8am), enjoyed a morning coffee (keurig german chocolate cake, yum) and then headed out for my run. still keeping all my runs easy this week (and for the next 4-5 weeks, in theory) but i was getting frustrated with the slow pace today. i feel like slowing down on the hills in order to keep my hr in the easy-zone is counter-productive.

saturday (1/31) am run: 6.25 miles, 58:04 (9:17 avg pace), avg/max hr (156/180)
i didn't sleep well friday night, and woke up early (~7) to grab breakfast with j before he went to work on his house. afterwards i sat around for awhile to let my food digest and the temps warm up a little. i kept the run easy for the most part; my legs helped with that as they were extremely sore from thursday's squat activity. with a mile to go, i randomly remembered that i had lit my "santa's cookies" candle earlier in the morning and at this point had been burning for a few hours. i hurried home as quickly as my aching legs would let me, sacrificing my low hr, but figured the house was probably more important. obviously, it's still standing.

for your enjoyment: this guy dances better than me. i'm not kidding. i love dancing bouncing around the house to this song but for some reason j doesn't really appreciate it. ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

my legs don't hate me afterall

yesterday and today i woke up at 5:00am with all the intentions of running before work. i really need to get back in that groove soon, because in a few months i will have no choice! i haven't ran in the morning in months (not counting races of course), and i love running in the morning. it makes me more awake and alert throughout the day, and i love the extra peacefulness since very few people are up at that hour. well, i love the quiet, dark, solitude for the most part... when i'm not running a million "what if" thoughts through my head. it's a little easier to not trust people these days after what happened to my dad, so i've been a big chicken about running in the dark.

needless to say, i have yet to make my return to morning running. on sunday and monday i caught up on season 4 of lost, so when i was contemplating yesterday morning's run i started thinking i'd be out running and hear those voices (along with all my other standard scaredy-cat thoughts). i wimped out and went back to bed, knowing i wouldn't be able to get my run in until about 8pm.

today i just wimped out. it was raining drizzling misting and foggy, and hard to tell myself to go do it since i knew i'd have time later today. i actually went out for a run on my lunch break (there are showers at work, don't worry) since j got sent out of town for work and we always eat lunch together. without my lunch date, i laced up and went for a run. it was rainy and really really windy, but a pretty good run for my slow and boring easy pace. i didn't eat much for breakfast/all morning so i got weak, light-headed, and shaky after about 2.5 miles, but i finished it out. my legs are starting to come back to life. thank you legs, welcome back!

monday (1/26): day of rest
tuesday (1/27) late pm run: 5 miles, 46:49 (9:21 avg pace), treadmill
wednesday (1/28) lunch time run: 6 miles, 54:39 (9:06 avg pace), avg/max hr (158/171)

this is quite delayed, but my pal denise over at rundmt is having (has been having) a fabulous giveaway that ends on saturday! so hurry up and go check out her blog/enter the giveaway so there are even less chances that i will win!! ;-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the human pretzel

i'm a little sore this morning, but i think it's from a more intense yoga workout yesterday and not my massage hour-long lotion application. i tried out a longer, more advanced workout than normal which had a ton of upper body work/poses. such as this one:yeah i'm pretty sure i'll never pull that one off. so i hung out in plank pose and chaturanga dandasana (below) until homegirl moved along out of the pretzel twist to something i could manage.

i went out for a "long" run this morning, as in 7 whole miles. it was nothing spectacular, just slow (which was a little depressing) but it was nice to get out and run. it's been weird only running 4 days this week. later today i shall soak up some time in the hot tub, which will hopefully put my legs in a better mood (and give my shoulders/back relief from yesterday's yoga).

week in review (1/19 - 1/25):
total miles: 21.90 (all super easy slow pace)
time spent running: ~3 hr 30 min
avg hr: 143
abs & yoga: 3 ab days, 2 yoga
off days: 3, all scheduled

Saturday, January 24, 2009

well, my skin is moisturized

dear legs,

i know you are still going to be pissed at me even though we went for a "massage". i still upheld my end of the deal, i just didn't realize the massage would not be adequate for our needs.

my sincerest apologies,
me & my wallet
i called for a massage appointment this morning and went in for it this afternoon. actually, first i called the place i wanted to try out, but when they didn't answer either time i called, i settled for another place i had a flyer for from a recent local race. i feel like i've heard some not-so-positive things about deep tissue massages for runners, so i opted for the swedish massage with firm pressure (vs light).

according to their website, they also offer trigger point therapy, deep tissue, sports, reflexology, and cranial sacral. in my opinion, trigger point and reflexology is for working on specific issues, and i wanted more of a general rub-down for my back and legs. the "sports" massage intrigues me, but i've heard that some places use that term loosely and just charge you more. since this was my first-ever official massage (vs having j put pressure on my troublesome shoulders) i didn't really know what to ask for and i figured a swedish massage would be sufficient. i assumed it would mean some pressure, but not too intense, and that my whole body would get some attention.

essentially, i got to relax and have lotion applied for an hour. my masseuse and i definitely talked about the two hard races i ran recently, but did he spend extra time on my legs? no. did he apply any sort of pressure while rubbing my legs? no. i also told him about my shoulders and their tendency to have knots. did he spend extra time on my shoulders? no. did he apply any sort of pressure to them? not really. at times he'd actually do more than just rub but it didn't last long enough to feel like a real massage. my forearms were the only part that i felt were actually massaged well. yeah, those are probably the most fatigued part of my body...

maybe i should've gone for the deep tissue? i was just afraid they'd really put pressure on and end up hurting something, if that makes sense. maybe this is just how swedish massages are, and i was falsely expecting to have more pressure applied to my shoulders and legs when i mentioned them. perhaps i'll still notice a difference during tomorrow's run, and today won't have been a complete waste. next time, at a different massage establishment, i guess i'll request a deep tissue massage and be more specific of the areas i want worked.

for those of you who haven't been introduced to the sweet, sweet burpee (or burpie), please see the video below. the pair at the beginning of the clip demonstrate it the best, the two girls they cut to later need to work on their form, and i definitely don't have a set of rings like they use at the end. my rowing coaches in college made us do these, mostly as punishment if you were late to practice. one morning i was over a half-hour late to 5am weights thanks to missing my alarm, and had to crank out a burpee for each minute i was late. it was painful (and i was in pretty good shape then with all the 2- or 3-a-days!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

an attempt at cross-training, sort of

thursday (1/22) pm run: no run, but some "cross training" for about an hour, avg/max hr (107/169)

2 x 1min of jumping jacks, burpees, high knees/butt kicks, mountain climbers, and karaoke, followed by 42 minutes of yoga.

so my legs didn't completely get the day off with those 10 minutes of hopping around but today was supposed to be a "cross-training" day and i was struggling to come up with something to do. i might have (and should have) gone for more rounds but those burpees and mountain climbers sure know how to make me feel out of shape. i managed a whopping 14 burpees in my 1 minute interval, and i kept dragging my feet on the ground instead of picking them up for the last 20 seconds (or more?) of the mountain climbers. those things are tough! i wouldn't doubt if my hr hit 169 in either of those two little workouts. (whoops, too high.)

if anyone has other suggestions for other bouncing-around moves i'll gladly take them. i had a pretty hard time coming up with those five activities alone. what do you call these kind of things anyway? drills? plyo's?

friday (1/23) afternoon run: 5.25 miles, 49:39 (9:27 avg pace), avg/max hr (148/167)

i was watching my hr intensely today to make sure it didn't get too high during the run. i felt better in general but my legs still came down with the heavy/tired feeling with about half a mile to go. i'm just glad i didn't contract any sickness or injury from disney and will gladly continue to take the next week or so easy. the weather was gorgeous today - sunny, 62*, breezy. loved it.

i was woken up this morning by my right foot getting one of those intense cramp things like i had in my calf last week. i started flexing my foot right away and it didn't become a full on cramp, but i still don't understand. i've eaten a couple bananas this week and drank plenty of water (i think anyway).

my shoulders/upper-back muscles are starting to get sore from yesterday's intense 4 minutes of upper-body movement (the beloved burpees & mtn climbers). that sounds pretty pathetic, but i will admit i have zero upper body strength 'cause i never give that region any attention.

i promised my legs awhile back that i'd take them for a massage for real after the disney races and perhaps this week of crappy running is due to some rebellion since we haven't gone yet. i'm hoping i can just call in the morning to get an appointment for the same day. i've never been for an official massage before so i have no idea what "kind" to order. i just don't want them to mash too hard and screw something up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

dusting off my running shoes

monday (1/19): off, my new off day for awhile. we'll see how that goes.

tuesday (1/20) pm run
: 5 miles, 47:33 (9:30 avg pace), avg/max hr 152/201

ugh. not a good run. sure it was my first run post-goofy but it just didn't feel good. nothing hurt but i could tell my muscles were getting tired. it was also freakin' cold out. yeah i know it's a lot colder elsewhere but i haven't ran in 29* weather since sometime in 2007. my lungs tightened up and it was hard to breathe. i was still freezing hours later even after eating dinner, layering my fleece pajamas, and wrapping myself up in a down blanket. i. hate. winter.

i'm doing all easy runs for a few weeks and keeping an eye on my hr. the max today is screwed up, i looked down within the first quarter-mile of my run (a nice downhill) and saw "201". i think it should really be somewhere in the upper-160's from this run, which still is a bit too high for my easy zone.

wednesday (1/21) pm run: 4.4 miles, 42:06 (9:32 avg pace), avg/max hr (150/188)

my max hr spiked within the first quarter-mile so i think it's false again today. my avg is right where it needs to be though. this was also not an enjoyable run. my legs were tired and a little achey. i honestly don't think i'm doing 'too much too soon'. i took 8 whole days off completely and these are little 4-5 mile slow and easy runs. it was warmer out than yesterday, about 36*, but my lungs were still giving me trouble for most of the run. i'm hoping the crappiness lately is just a little lingering post-race effect from disney paired with taking 8 days off and losing a little fitness?

i bought 2 new pairs of running shoes today (regular/"neutral" training ones). i desperately needed them. i've been running in a pair of brooks burn 3's since mid-august for the majority of my runs, and in saucony grid type a2's on speed/tempo/race days. i replaced the saucony's shortly before disney, but the brooks' have about 500 miles on them. hopefully when those get here these crappy runs will be gone. (i was cheap and purchased online this time instead of supporting my local shop, i'm not quite made of money here. i've never really had issues with shoes so i'm hoping the new pairs won't give me any trouble.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


i'm a dork and overly excited about my first 'tagging' from terri from middle-of-the-pack-girl. seeing the random 'tags' come across the blogs brings back the days of those email questionnaires (now probably found on myspace) that i did in high school. yup, i was super cool then too. at least terri finds me fabulous, or she might just feel bad for me. either way... here are my 5 addictions, the subject of this whole tagging-business afterall.
  1. running. duh. come on now.
  2. m&m's. soy (my beloved food allergy) is found in a lot of chocolate/chocolate-related items but i can still eat (plain) m&m's! love them. can and would eat them all day.
  3. ketchup. i put it on everything. steak. chicken. ham. eggs. rice. mac 'n cheese. potatoes (no matter how prepared). grilled cheese. ok, everything except dessert.
  4. reading running blogs. such as all of yours. the first thing i do when i get to work is open up google reader. not lying. without the abundance of blogging runners and your entertaining lives i don't know how i'd get through the workday.
  5. coffee. starbucks. dunkin' donuts. keurig k-cups. local diner brew. i'm not picky. i'm only allowed to get coffee from starbucks/dunkin' donuts on working-fridays (every other) to keep from going too crazy on spending in this department.
in return, i am tagging 5 lovely ladies who i think are fabulous (hope you haven't been hit already), although all the blogs i read are enjoyable and help get me through the workday. please feel free to participate and give me even more distractions during work! :)

i figure all you manly men wouldn't even bother/probably haven't even read down this far, but you are welcome to participate as well.

mel @ 2nd chances
kaolee @ girl on top
denise @ run dmt (who is also looking for someone to pay her upcoming race fee)
marlene @ mission to (a)nother marathon
aron @ runner's rambles

Sunday, January 18, 2009

considering 39.3?

contemplating whether you are goofy enough to run both a half and full marathon back-to-back? i definitely recommend it! just sign up for it already! :o)

running the goofy challenge was so much fun. it was cool to run through all of the parks, see some "behind the scenes" areas of the park, and feel like a vip running through the parks while the crowds were held back to let you through. we were able to take tons of pictures with so many characters, and had we tried harder we probably could've gotten even more. i know i would never have the patience to traipse around the park looking for all the characters on a normal day, but in these races they were right there at your disposal. you just have to deal with the fact that you might not look your best after 15 miles! disney did a terrific job organizing both races, putting together sweet shirts and medals, and providing plenty of food/water/crowd support throughout the 39.3 miles. these were definitely the two best-organized races i have ever ran.

i had such a great experience in both races. i know i have to give a ton of credit to my long and consistent training. after a huge pr in the half on saturday, i toed the line sunday with stiff and sore legs, but felt great throughout that race as well. i am still in awe of how awesome my body and legs held it together and gave me two great races. it was easier to walk after this marathon than it was to walk after the atlanta marathon (and i didn't race a half the day before that one).

perhaps it was because the goofy races were the culmination of my 20+ weeks of training, and atlanta fell in about 6 weeks shy of my "peak". or maybe it was also the assistance of gu roctane, advertised to have the "additional amino acid complex ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (okg) which limits the body's tendency to break down muscle protein tissue during extremely hard training and racing days. okg keeps you going longer and promotes a speedier recovery."

well i think i can agree with that! my legs were sore on monday after carrying me for 39.3 miles, but i have definitely had more soreness after other (just) marathons. tuesday i woke up with no soreness! i was definitely not expecting that, but i'll take it. now gu just needs to come out with a few other roctane flavors. like something with chocolate. then i'd eat gu roctane as a meal.

technically the goofy was the first race (of marathon distance) i truly trained for. atlanta i was fairly-well trained for (definitely better-trained than any previous marathon) but it wasn't the race i was aiming to peak in. perhaps my speedy recovery is also due in part to better physical fitness.

although my legs have been moving fine and don't hurt at all (amazing!), i still gave them the week off from running/any activity other than walking around. the 12-degree weather lately has helped keep me in the house and out of my running shoes this weekend. i came down with a pretty good cold on monday (ahh the nasal drip), which became a constant sneeze on tuesday (as we walked around magic kingdom) and moved on to phlegmy-ness for the rest of the week. i visited the chiropractor for a post-race adjustment on wednesday which helped make me feel 10 times better. hopefully it'll be all cleared up for my return to running in a couple days.

i think my legs were having a bad dream about running friday night. i got a really bad calf-cramp in the middle of the night. i get them periodically in my calves and feet sometimes. they hurt like the dickens. my muscle gets like it is totally flexing, is rock hard, and hurts so bad. i could hardly walk when i got up for a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip and it was sore when i woke up saturday morning. anyone ever get these in their calves/feet? any ideas as to why or how to prevent them? they suck so much. it felt like my calf muscle was going to rip in half, and i can't be having that.

it's been nice to have the week off but i'm feeling blubbery and ready to get back in a running routine again. the next few weeks will be light and easy as i continue to recover from the goofy and build back up to 40mpw. i think my race plans for '09 are changing already, but i'm still hoping to get in at least 2 more marathons and continue to cut down my half pr. thanks to andrea of go the distance, i've discovered that i should have a guaranteed entry to the nyc marathon in november, so i think that'll be my next focus. since i obviously don't have to start training for that for a few months, i will probably follow daniels' "gold" plan in the meantime and run a few random 5k to half marathon races along the way.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

disney marathon (goofy challenge) recap

sunday began at 2:45 am, just like saturday, although thanks to running a hard 13.1 miles i slept soundly at least. jess texted me expressing how glad she was to be getting up so early. i offered to share my ibuprofen with her but she declined, she has stronger stuff for her plantar. i was kind of jealous.

we left to pick up jess and her dad at 3:45. the guard to their resort was being lame and called their room, waking up jess's mom, to make sure it was ok to let us in. so lame rent-a-cop. it's 3:45 in the morning. i'm dressed in my running clothes with my race bib on. where else would we be going.

anyway, we made it over to epcot again, took a trip to the port-a-potties, and stood around for a bit feeling tired and sore. around 4:30 we decided we should probably go ahead over to the start area since there were so many more people than the half had. i felt kind of bad for making j go hang out alone already, especially since he had been a real trooper getting up pre-3:00am, being our race chauffer, standing around alone for hours on saturday and now sunday while we ran, and trying to make it to the few spectating spots he could actually access to see us. he is super supportive of my obsession with running and even encourages me to stick with it. on top of all that, it was his birthday weekend. when we woke up at 2:45 i said i bet you'd rather just now be getting home from the bars instead of getting up. he was a real trooper and great 'fan' throughout this goofy weekend. :)

ok back to the race... jess, her dad, and i made the mile walk to the start line and hung out in our corral (b! for bad idea to run 39.3 miles) stretching and talking with other random people until the race started. my legs were stiff and sore, nothing too bad, but sore, and i was developing a headache. because we headed over to the start so early, i missed a text from denise (rundmt), so i didn't get to see her again. (sorry again denise!) i sure could've used some of her energetic aura. i thought all the stretching would loosen up my legs but it didn't. mickey, minnie, donald and goofy climbed back up on stage and counted us down to another firework sendoff, and we were off.

jess and i started out taking it easy, aiming to keep our mile splits under 10:00, hold off letting her dad pass us for as long as possible and just survive. within a few minutes of running, we reached the area where spectators could watch the start of the marathon and mile 4. we kept an eye out for j, which was tough with all the spectators, but we found him. the first 4 or 5 miles sucked. my legs were sore, my head hurt, and i kinda wanted to just call it quits. (obviously i wouldn't really, but i just was not in the mood to run 26.2 after saturday's 13.1.) the first 4 miles wound us through epcot, and we stopped for pictures with the characters we encountered along the way. around mile 2, jess's dad passed us already. what a bummer. i was hoping we could at least hold him off until the double-digit miles. we were warming up already so when we passed j again at mile 4 we gave him our long-sleeved shirts.

i took my first gu roctane somewhere around mile 5 or 6, mostly in hopes that it would help with my headache that was really sucking. it seemed to do the trick, and my headache faded. we continued running sub-10:00 miles overall, although some of our photo stops put us over our target mile pace at times. a pit stop around mile 7 or 8 made for a really long mile split, but didn't set us back on our time as a whole. i took a second gu around mile 10 or 11, i'm guessing, i really can't remember. they handed out bananas near mile 16-ish and clif shots at mile 18. i took the clif shot around mile 20 and my third gu at mile 22 to carry me home. as with the half, the gu roctanes gave me a boost in confidence and energy throughout the race.

jess and i kept running, stopping for a quick picture with characters and usually taking a brief walk-break through the water stops. we didn't stop or walk at all otherwise, which was pretty amazing since we ran so hard saturday. i guess i just thought i'd be really tired and hurting, but my training paid off more than i could have expected. i know you're not supposed to try anything new on race day, but when jess wanted to stop for some biofreeze at one of the med tents i decided i'd try it out. it felt pretty good on my legs, and my quads seemed to loosen up a little and felt less sore.

once we hit mile 21, we passed jess's dad back and i picked up my pace. i pulled away from jess a little but she was only a few minutes behind me at the finish. i felt strong; i had no aches or pains; i ran hard for the last five miles and it felt great. i'm still in shock over how well i felt in the marathon overall and how strong i was able to finish after having ran so hard on saturday. (maybe i should've ran harder in the half?)

in the last mile of the race, i picked up my pace even more. i was hurting some, but i told myself "this is the last mile i am running for the next few days, let's make it worth it." i had my super killer kick and j just barely happened to look up in time to see me finish. he had been getting the "tracking" update text messages which gave him an estimated finishing time so he wasn't expecting me. the last update was provided around mile 20, and he figured i'd continue to hold the same pace i'd been running the whole time, mostly because i just raced the day before (so he claims). well i tore up the last 5 miles, put everything i had into the last 5k, and put even more into the last mile. my average pace for the whole race went from a 9:43-ish to a 9:19 because of 5 little miles! (i was really ready to be done already.) i think i finished about 8 minutes sooner than the tracking updates were predicting.

just like the half, the marathon was well organized and tons of fun. it was even more enjoyable to get to stop and take quick photos with the characters. racing saturday helped use up most of my competitive brain cells and allowed me to pull back, take it easy, and have fun for 26.2 miles. the disney marathon is definitely the funnest marathon in my book - i highly recommend it!

clock time - 4:05:53
chip time - 4:04:26
overall - 2335/14953
gender - 579/7144
age group - 60/706

mile splits and hr
mile 1 - 9:38, 168
mile 2 -9:31, 141
mile 3 - 10:23, 143 *multiple photo stops
mile 4 - 9:21, 145
mile 5 - 9:37, 146
mile 6 - 9:13, 146
mile 7 - 9:23, 144
mile 8 - 11:47, 139 *port-a-potty stop
mile 9 - 9:27, 146
mile 10 - 9:20, 148
mile 11 - 10:20, 152 *multiple photo stops
mile 12 - 9:29, 154
mile 13 - 9:03, 153
mile 14 - 9:14, 153
mile 15 - 9:18, 152
mile 16 - 10:16, 150 *ate a banana
mile 17 - 9:59, 152
mile 18 - 9:45, 152
mile 19 - 10:05, 154 *had to wait on some dude with camera issues to get a pic with cap'n hook
mile 20 - 9:16, 161
mile 21 - 8:56, 162
mile 22 - 8:32, 167
mile 23 - 8:12, 172
mile 24 - 7:30, 177
mile 25 - 7:57, 179
mile 26.2 - 8:46, 183 *missed the mile 26 sign

Friday, January 16, 2009

disney half marathon (goofy challenge) recap

after a hectic day of traveling and a delicious dinner at macaroni grill, i finally dozed off for a brief nap around 11pm friday night. saturday morning came quickly, and i was up-and-at-'em by 2:45 in the morning. the race was supposed to start at 5:50 and race organizers had been saying to get on a shuttle no later than 4:00am.

i checked the weather and realized that although the forecasts i'd read all week said 70, it was going to be a little cooler at 6am and once again i did not pack appropriately. i ended up wearing one of my race shirts (the one for the half) since they are all tech long-sleeves. it's still dorky of course (in my opinion) but it seems to be my lucky charm. jess was so kind as to wear hers too so we could be dorky together, and obviously there were other folks wearing theirs as well.

j and i left to pick up jess from her hotel at 3:45ish. when we got down to the car i realized i forgot my bib number and had to run back up to the room. we scooped up jess and got to the race site around 4:00am (only 2 hours until race time), parked in a sweet parking spot right next to the pre-/post-race festivities site. (like 3 spots from the entryway!) we stood around for a bit, then hopped in line for the port-a-potty and hoped it would tide me over until after the race. (thankfully, it did.)

got a text from denise @ rundmt while i was port-a-pottying. went and found her, she is so cool! (you are so cool denise!) she had way more energy than i did for 4-something in the morning. she told us that disney collects all the clothing discarded by the runners, washes it, and distributes it to local homeless shelters. i wish i had known that in advance so i could've worn something to donate. (sorry, but i kinda want my race shirt.)

jess, j and i hung around a bit more and then jess and i decided we should probably head over to the start since we didn't really know where it was. they just kept announcing "please proceed behind baggage check and there will be a lighted path to take you to the start". they conveniently left off the fact that it's a mile walk. alright, it's probably not really a mile, but it wasn't all that close either. the walk warmed my muscles and probably helped me out a little since i still neglect to actually warm up before a race.

j went off to where they said spectators could watch (which ended up being the other side of the divided-highway from where we actually ran so all those people couldn’t really see who they were cheering for), and then after the start he went and camped out in the car. there wasn’t any way for him to get to another view point and back to the finish with my lightning speed. har har.

jess and i herded over the start with everyone else, found our corral (a! for awesome, duh) and we were actually really close up to the start. it only took 20 seconds or so to cross the start line from the gun (/fireworks). (brian i remember seeing the 1:40 balloons in front of us as we waited at the start but i do not remember when i passed the group. i was looking for "brian's" on bibs in the corral and "a runner's blog" on the back's of shirts i passed though!) mickey, minnie, donald and goofy got up on stage and counted us down to the start of the race and i took off.

i love how much easier a 7:15-ish pace feels in a race compared to my tempo runs. i’ve been struggling to run my tempo runs lately at a 7:41-ish, but in this race a 7:15 was no biggie. i never felt tired; i remained strong, clear-headed, focused and relaxed. it was a-ma-zing.

the first four miles were on the highway-like roads, dark and kind of boring, but there were random people/groups providing music and they had some spotlights set up to help light the way. my stomach was empty when the race started. i mean grumbling, completely empty, and i was worrying about draining my glycogen stores too early on in the race. i’d brought 2 gu roctane’s (one vanilla orange and one blueberry pomegranate). since i was so hungry, i took the blue-pom really early on, about 20 minutes into the race, which helped make the grumbly feeling going away. i had my mind set on these things being magical and they didn’t let me down. each time i took one my spirits were lifted, my upper body became more fluid, my legs were given a second life. when i took the vanilla orange around mile 9-ish, my legs were just starting to feel fatigued, but the gu roctane kicked in and carried me home. it seriously felt like i had changed into a new pair of legs. and, in my opinion, vanilla orange is even more delicious than blue-pom, but i’m still a little prejudice to the word “pomegranate” since i still don’t know what that is.

there were two guys in red shirts running right in front of me for the first mile, and when we hit the one mile sign they commented to each other on the pace (~7:30) and picked it up a hair, so i decided to try to hang with them. i stuck with them for a bit, but then it seemed like they were going too fast and i fell back a little. i caught back up to them pretty easily and hung with them until mile 10. there was also a kid running a really sweet pace for a middle schooler. i’d guess 6th or 7th grade but i have no idea how old kids look. we traded the lead a few times and i ended up beating him, sorry kid. i’d been telling myself that the last 5k has to feel like a 5k so i picked it up and left the kid and the red shirt dudes in the dust. i started counting people i picked off to help motivate me to keep pushing; it was starting to hurt a little. (i met my initial goal of 10 people but then lost count.) in the last half-mile i passed the united kingdom guy, sporting his extremely short, uk flag shorts and singlet. (we’d seen him pre-race, kind of hard to miss those ridiculously short shorts.) i also passed a handful of other guys (mwah ha ha, beat by a girl… just kidding) and kicked it hard to the finish.

i didn’t pay much attention to the surroundings throughout the race because i’m not coordinated enough to sight-see and run fast-ish at the same time. i do remember cruising through the castle though. a chick in a hansons-brooks singlet was running near me and tripped on the uneven bricks (but didn’t wipe out). i’m probably laughing in the shot of me exiting the castle. i’m assuming she isn’t really on the team because i beat her, and there's no way i beat a true member of the team.

after crossing the finish, i got my space blanket, donald medal, a couple bananas and made my way to the goofy tent to have my half bracelet replaced with the one for the full. the post-race area was so empty i was able to just stand in an open area and keep an eye out for both jess and j. jess came through the tent after a little while and was so giddy. she's been battling plantar fasciitis since we ran baltimore (2006) and didn't exactly train for the goofy. somehow she still pulled out a 1:46 / 4:09 -ish in the races. she's insane. we eventually saw j making his way over from the finish line and he asked me when i finished; he didn't even see me come in. :( oh well.

the half was a lot of fun and well-organized by disney. the course was mostly flat, with the occasional highway-ramp incline, but they weren't bad at all. it was cool to run through magic kingdom but most of the race was getting to and from the park. still, it was fun, and i'm totally thrilled with my time and cooperation from my legs throughout the weekend.

clock time - 1:34:40
chip time - 1:34:13
overall - 180/12440
gender - 30/7180
age group - 5/515

mile splits and hr
mile 1 - 7:31, 170
mile 2 -7:15, 174
mile 3 - 7:17, 176
mile 4 - 7:17, 177
mile 5 - 7:11, 180
mile 6 & 7 - 14:22, 181
mile 8 - 7:07, 181
mile 9 - 7:09, 181
mile 10 - 7:19, 179
mile 11 & 12 - 14:16, 179
mile 13 - 6:44, 183

*big thanks to devon at outside pr and gu energy for hooking me up with a great product that really helped me through these two long days of running. i'm definitely hooked!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

where dreams come true

for your entertainment... official race pictures

walt disney world goofy's race-and-a-half challenge
january 10th-11th, 2009

the half marathon

leaving the stupid techno music of tomorrowland and heading to the castle

guess my foot rolls slightly outward when i land.
can't remember if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

does my leg look dry here or what. hello lotion.

yes i was a dork and wore the race shirt (again). it was cooler than anticipated.

maybe if red-shirt guy had been more concerned with finishing strong he wouldn't have been beat by a girl. the race is gonna provide you with your official time anyway... what's the big deal with stopping your personal watch 2 seconds later?

the marathon

ahh techno music of tomorrowland, day 2.
i just like how my thigh looks here.
(it's already full of lactate)

i've never acknowledged the photographers before... but we were doing this race for fun.
i felt compelled to be super dorky.

Align Centermaximizing my dork-status.

somewhere in animal kingdom.

i might actually buy this picture if it had one of my better marathon times on the clock.

we made it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

summary of training - goofy challenge

recap of training week 18 (1/5-1/11):
[day - mileage, time, avg hr]
mon - 4.4 easy, 41:29, 143
tue - 4 (2xmile @ 6:55), 33:01, 172
wed - 3.4 easy, 30:52, 146
thu - 2 easy, 19:12, 148
fri - off
sat - 13.1 race, 1:34:13, 178
sun - 26.2 race, 4:04:25, 155

mileage total - 53.10

an easy week with boring short runs to rest up for the races. apparently it paid off well enough. i did my yoga session for the week on saturday after the race in hopes it would help my muscles survive through sunday. 'race reports' to come soon, but for now a recap of how i got here.

in january of 2008 i took some serious drugs and signed up for the goofy challenge. later in the summer, i put together a 23-week training plan to get me into shape for the races. i progressed from a 24-mile week up to consistent 50+ weeks and even a 62+ mile week. i lost 15 pounds (ahem jess and j... proof to you people who told me i didn't have the weight to lose... obviously i did! k, just had to throw that out there), and discovered that long, hard runs didn't hurt if you trained well for them.

this is a summary of my training for the 2009 goofy challenge, a journey from august 4th, 2008 through january 9th, 2009 --

# of runs - 134 (usually 6 runs/week)

miles - 1,017.78

average mpw - 44.25

highest weekly mileage - 62.75

percentage of solo runs - 82%

runs missed due to injuries/sickness - 4 (asthma, recovery from atlanta marathon, abnormally high rhr, family emergency); injury-free for 23 weeks!

# runs of 15 miles or more - 7

hours of running - 149

average pace - 8:46

races - 5 (bmw 2-mile, furman 5k, spinx half, atlanta marathon, paris mountain 20k)

pr's - 3 (bmw, atlanta, technically also paris mountain)

speedwork - 16 workouts (5 mile repeats, 11 800 repeats), avg pace 6:46

tempo runs - 22 runs, ~144 miles

hills - 0 workouts, although considered doing them a few times if that counts

other workouts:
bike - commuted to work 8 times in august/early september (95.1 miles)
yoga - 15 times (9hrs 30min)
abs - 37 times (crunches/planks/ball work)
pushups - 527 (in aug, sep, dec)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

still alive

walt disney world marathon - day 2 of the goofy challenge

5 m - 48:31*
10 m - 1:37:40*
13.1 m - 2:07:34
20 m - 3:14:30
26.2 miles - 4:04:25

2328th overall / 579th female / 62nd place ag

i woke up with sore legs. had a headache for the first four miles, and was just aiming to stay under a 10min/mile pace. jess and i stopped for a bunch of pics with the characters, stayed within the 9's, and i still had plenty of gas left at mile 21 to start picking it up. we averaged around a 9:43-ish for the first 21 miles and i picked it up so much in the last 5 miles i dropped my average pace for the race as a whole to 9:19. not too shabby. when i saw i was doing (much) better than anticipated, i tried to push it for a sub-4. however, at mile 23 that would've meant i'd have to run 3.2 faster than i have ever done 3.1. i passed a lot of people in the last five miles, picked it up to make the last 5k feel like a 5k (again), had a super sweet kick, and not to mention i did just race a half yesterday. i really thought we'd be out there for five hours.

my legs are more sore now. (right now i don't really care if that's supposed to be 'sorer'.) i just drained the hotel ice machine dry, and it's time to go sit through an ice bath.

*5 miles were slower than yesterday's 10k mark; 10 miles were slower than yesterday's entire 13.1

am run: 26.2 miles, 4:04:25 (9:19 avg pace), avg/max hr (155/192)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

bringing the heat

walt disney world half marathon - day 1 of the goofy challenge

5k split - 22:57
10k split - 45:15*
15k split - 1:07:36
13.1 miles - 1:34:13

183rd overall / 30th female / 5th place ag

i was hoping for a 1:35-1:38! i am so stoked. beyond stoked. a new half-pr by 6:38! (only 4:14 left to shave off in '09) ;-) huge thanks to gu for their awesome awesome roctane and saucony for their grid type a2's.

i also got to meet denise of rundmt! she is so cute and energetic, even at 4:xx in the morning. no wonder she breaks out into song on long runs. (please don't forget to email me the pic so i can upload it!) but more on everything later when i have brain power and tons of free time from 7 days of no-running. time to rest up and eat like phelps!

*a pr, can you count it as a pr if it's during a longer race?

am run: 13.1 miles, 1:34:13 (7:11 avg pace), avg/max hr (178/188)

Friday, January 9, 2009

murphy's law

most of my previous marathon's were so nicely planned out and covered by others (my parents or jess's, gotta love "second parents") so for these most recent two (atlanta, disney) i haven't put much thought into the actual logistics of getting into town, to the expo, etc.

for atlanta, we got stuck in traffic for 4 hours and barely made it to the expo on time. the next morning i had to walk/jog 2 miles to the start line (and 2 miles back to the car) because i didn't check online to see that you could actually park near the start/finish. two miles isn't a lot most days, but pre-/post- marathon.... it can be quite miserable.

you'd think i might be semi-organized about planning a marathon trip by now (this is #6), but i'm still not.

after my experiences today, here are some tips you might want to consider when traveling to a marathon (or really, traveling period):
  1. check what airport you are actually flying into.
  2. arrange transportation to your hotel from the airport you are actually flying into.
  3. in the event you have to rent a car at the last minute, get directions to your destination.
  4. don't ever travel without at least a little bit of cash. there will probably be a toll road.
number 1 is key. how surprised we were when we landed at not-orlando-airport, found zero hotel shuttles, discovered that the cab fare would be $120, decided to rent a car instead, discovered that the road we had to get on was a toll road, had no cash so turned around on the one-way on-ramp to find a gas station and get some cash... i hate feeling like nothing is going right and was stressing out a good bit - i just wanted everything to go smoothly and easily!

we made it to the expo in decent time, met up with jess and her parents, picked up my race bibs and chips and shirts, and browsed through the vendors a bit. cigna was there with these face-screening machines that showed you if your skin was oily (showed up orange) and if there was any sun-damage. j and jess both had "signs of sun-damage" but i was told i have great skin. hah! riiight. i'm sure my dermatologist would agree. it was still neat though.

well i'm off to nap so i can rise bright and early at 2:XX. can't say i'm diggin' the 5:50am start and all the "you must be on the shuttle by 4am" business.

off to the races

big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread are where great deeds can be accomplished.

-jack lovelock
this one's been staring at me from my bathroom mirror every day for the past 8 months or so.

well i'm off! thank you all for the good lucks and well wishes the past week or so. pending rides in ambulances, i'll be sure to post quick updates on how i do. i know i'll be thinking of you throughout my 39.3 mile journey and the motivating, inspiring, and funny things you have taught and shared with me. i'm going to try hard to come away with more memories of in-race activities than what random child's song got stuck in my head so i have something semi-interesting to say. i'm still trying to tell myself i am not going to race the full, but it's difficult. i'm competitive. i'm sure my legs will help convince my brain on sunday morning. i told jess we could just take it easy and take pics with the characters and stuff. you can't always rush through life, have to slow down and enjoy it - right?

i'm also already dreading not being able to run all next week... i know i need a few days off, and i'm only shooting for 7, but still, not really looking forward to time off.

good luck to all the other disney runners, goofy nuts or not!
brian @ a runner's blog
denise @ rundmt
kim @ kimpossible
(and anyone else i can't think of! sorry, having a brain lapse!)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

fueling up

my healthy taper diet

not only did i put away this single-serving sized 21 oz bag of m&m's in three days, but also a "small" sized-bag as well. they were both part of my belated-christmas present from jess. i think she was purposely giving them to me to slow me down for this weekend as she will be running the goofy too. technically i polished them off in less than three days because i was able to restrain myself from bringing the bag to work where i would have been forced to mindlessly consume them non-stop until they were gone. i have no self control when it comes to m&m's (and jess is well aware of that). i do not eat the blue m&m's though, those are gross, so j eats those.

the good news is my enlarged ba-donk-a-donk is good for me.

got in my last two slow, easy 'n short runs before the weekend races and festivities begin. wednesday i ran without checking either my nike+ or hrm the whole time. just took it easy, ran by feel, and ran right in my easy hr target zone. thursday was boring and hardly felt like a run at all. 2 miles is hardly long enough to even break a sweat. nonetheless, they were both right on target for my hr and i can't argue with that.

wednesday (1/7) pm run: 3.4 miles, 30:52 (9:04 avg pace), avg/max hr (146/168)
thursday (1/8) am run: 2 miles, 19:12 (9:36 avg pace), avg/max hr (148/160)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

treadmill math

here in the midst of taper week there isn't much going on as far as actually running. i've spent some time browsing the runner's world recently-renovated-and-still-full-of-bugs forums, and i'm reading both pfitz's "advanced marathoning" and daniels' "running formula" to figure out what training regime is up next. i need something hardcore that will help me get way faster. so far, they've both been good reads and i know either route will be beneficial. i'm kind leaning towards daniels' a little more, but the laziness in me likes that pfitz provides clear-cut schedules. luckily, i have a few days to read more, mull over it and decide.

i put j's engineering degree to good use with a scientific experiment on my treadmill so we could figure out what the 'real' speeds are. i know i'm not that fast, but i know what my easy pace is on average and it was not matching up to what the treadmill was reporting.

first, he measured the length of the, um, running strip thing in inches (52.5") and then multiplied it by 2 since you can only measure half of it, unless you want to flip your treadmill over and measure the underside of course but multiplying is easier (105"). he also marked a spot on the running strip to help track each rotation. then he set the speed on the treadmill, to seven different speeds ranging from 5.5 to 8.5, and timed 20 rotations (using the spot) at each speed. he did this 3 times at each speed to ensure the most accurate data of course.

now for the boring equation part:

# of rotations * length of running strip = distance (in)
20 * 105 = 2100 in

distance / time it took to reach 20 rotations = speed (in/s)
2100 / 16.36 = 128.36 in/s
(for "7.0" setting)

(speed (in/s) / 12 / 5280) * 3600 = speed (mph)
(128.36 / 12 / 5280) * 3600 = 7.29 mph

7.29 mph translates to an 8:13.9 min/mile
which is kind of like the treadmill telling you your speed is 7.0 mph (8:34.2 min/mile)

of course you do this for each of the rotation-timings and then figure out the average at each treadmill setting. on my treadmill, the actual speed was about .20-.30 mph faster than what the treadmill says. i'm just glad the results came back in my favor! i'm not as slow as the treadmill tells me i am. :o)

belated congrats to all you other lottery winners and african trust-fund inheritors out there. who knew we were all a bunch of millionaires spending our days blogging about running...

monday (1/5) pm run: 4.4 miles, 41:29 (9:25 avg pace), avg/max hr (143/164)
tuesday (1/6) pm run: 4 miles (2xmile@7:16), 33:01 (8:15 avg pace), avg/max hr (172/197)

Monday, January 5, 2009

goofy training week 17

recap of training week 17 (12/29-1/4):
[day - mileage, time, avg hr]
mon - 6.8 easy, 1:00:45, 166
tue - 7 easy, 1:02:16, 159
wed - 5 easy, 46:21, 149
thu - 8 tempo, 1:08:50, 173
fri - off, actually stuck to my schedule!
sat - 6.1 tempo, 48:23, 175
sun - 9 easy, 1:24:41, 161

mileage total - 41.9

this "taper" week had more mileage than last week... i also woke up on friday and realized, wow, i actually ran monday-thursday like i was supposed to. i was able to fully enjoy my scheduled rest day for once. true to my new year's resolutions, i even did yoga on my non-running day and 3 ab workouts throughout the week. my hr was being crappy on all the easy days and i'm a little annoyed at my new-to-me treadmill for not being accurately calibrated, but i guess it was an alright week of running. i'm feeling kind of slow though and hoping i can locate my faster muscles next weekend.

on a side note - i happened to check and see how much flights were now from here to orlando for next weekend... i think we paid around $140 roundtrip, direct. yeah they're definitely selling now for $40 but, no biggie! i just got an email telling me i won the u.k. lottery! 1 million gbp's baby. $100 on a plane ticket is chump change. there were only 5 or so misspelled words, it has to be legit. if you leave your bank account number and current balance in the comments below i'll send you $100,000 (usd) from my winnings. *just kidding of course*

Sunday, January 4, 2009

tapering is boring

it pretty much sucks. you hardly get to run (giving me even less subject matter to babble on about) and you're still supposed to eat a decent amount of calories to fuel up in preparation for the big day(s), making me feel awful about myself. blub blub, jiggle jiggle. somehow the scale keeps reporting lower weights though... must be broken. i've been trying to focus on drinking more water the past few days so i don't run into any dehydration issues. last week i noticed i tend to not drink any water until lunch time or later and obviously that's not going to do me any favors.

my 'long' runs this weekend were 6 and 9 miles. double-digit days, i actually miss you, you always make me feel skinnier while also allowing me to eat more. i can't wait to re-unite with you next weekend, although i might be a tad more excited about getting to eat 9,000+ calories on saturday. that may be a stretch, but you catch my drift. i do have to re-fuel and try to pre-fuel at the same time.

since i can't go long, i went hard-ish in saturday's 6 hilly miles. part of my typical post-run-recovery is to mix up a protein drink, and i was wondering during the run if tsa will allow me to bring a ziploc bag of brown ("chocolate" flavored) protein powder on the plane. i am definitely gonna want some quick protein in my system post-races, and thanks to my lovely food allergies i usually can't eat the post-race food. i also need to bring a bunch of gu roctanes which are of the gel-ish consistency and i'm not so sure about jamming those in my toiletry ziploc. i don't really want to check my bag because when jess and i did baltimore back in '06 they lost her luggage and she didn't get it until the day after the marathon of course. hmm. maybe i'll just jam the gu's down my pants in true xc^2 style and hope they don't pat me down. ;-)

sunday i was supposed to do 8 but i extended it to 9 easy. still not too long and i tried to keep it easy (hr in the 150s) but it was being difficult. my hr wanted to hang out in the 160s no matter how much i tried to slow down (and i was already going quite slow). i finally settled into my normal, easy pace within my target hr once i reached 8 miles. so really, i did an 8 mile warm-up and a 1 mile easy run. on previous long runs i've noticed that some of the randomest songs pop into my head and today was extra unique - "the farmer in the dell". i don't have kids, my sister's don't have kids, i haven't even been around kids lately, haven't watched kid's tv shows... so apparently the taper is getting to my brain as well.

saturday (1/3) mid-day run: 6.1 miles, 48:23 (7:55 avg pace), avg/max hr (175/187)
sunday (1/4) mid-day run: 9 miles, 1:24:41 (9:24 avg pace), avg/max hr (161/186)

Friday, January 2, 2009

courting the pain

races always evoke some dread about pain that will come. but we can't escape the fact that the more discomfort we accept in a race, the faster we will run. successful racing means courting the pain.

-john elliott
this time next week i will be picking up race bibs, chips, shirts, and swag at the disney world marathon weekend expo. i'm growing a little nervous, as always, but i'm constantly playing some of my favorite motivational quotes and songs in my head. i will run a sub-1:38 half and i will survive the full. i want to put a time goal on the full too, but i'm not so sure how many muscle fibers i'll have left after the half. sub-4:00 would be good, sub-3:50 would be better, another bq would be flippin' awesome... but i'd take a sub-4:00 (if i ran a sub-1:38 half).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

tackling 2009

if you set your aim too high and don't fulfill it, then your enthusiasm turns to bitterness. try for a goal that's reasonable, and then gradually raise it.

-emil zatopek

goals for 2009:

  1. run 3 marathons. (i need to cross some states off!) florida is a given (disney, january) and i'm considering the tourist destination of north dakota (fargo, may) and something in the northeast (connecticut, rhode island, jersey) in october. since i won't have proper time to recover and train for boston '09 after disney, i'm holding off until 2010 since my november bq qualified me for '10 too.
  2. sub-1:30 half (or better, of course). i'm hoping for a 1:35-1:38 at disney in january, and thinking about returning to south bend for the half this time (sunburst, june). hopefully i'll also pick up 2-3 other halves closer to home throughout the year as necessary to put a beating on my current pr.
  3. sub-3:35 full. i shaved 17 minutes in '08, surely i can shave another 4-5 in '09.
  4. pr in at least 3 distances.
health/fitness related
  1. abs 2-3 times per week. *no exceptions!*
  2. lose at least another 5 lbs (for 20lb total loss from my mar'08 fat weight).
  3. truly avoid eating foods with soy. my ige levels were "3000+", apparently those test results max out at 3000 and doc said i could be at 9000 for all we know. i still cheat sometimes when tempted by delicious foods (or when eating out and i get frustrated by my limitations). the nuts and beans that i also can't eat aren't as hard to avoid since they aren't hidden in things.
  4. yoga once per week. i should do something semi-active on my rest day anyway. i know i should probably do it often, but i need to be realistic. then, i can feel good about "overachieving".
  1. pay off my car loan. provided i have no financial emergencies, this should be done by april-ish.
  2. re-side my house and landscape the front yard so i don't look like the redneck neighbor anymore. i bought the house as a foreclosure and it has great potential, but currently no curb appeal because it's in serious need of a face lift.
  3. spend more quality time with family and friends. after the events of Christmas '08, i'm appreciating time with the most important people in my life even more.

breaking in 2009

aren't people usually more motivated at the start of a new year, especially when it comes to working out?

i slept in this morning til 10something and from the moment i groggily woke up, i was not in the mood to run. go figure. luckily i have no plans today, so i had time to relax, procrastinate and talk myself into it. so as not to be the worst clemson alum, i watched the first half of the clemson v. nebraska gator bowl (which they are now losing as i watch the final minutes of the 4th quarter... this is why i cannot be a dedicated fan).

at half-time i voluntarily hopped on the treadmill for an 8-mile run. today was supposed to be 10x800 but i didn't feel like going to the track or running in the 36-ish degree weather (i know, i have nothing to complain about) so i settled for a few tempo-ish miles on the 'mill. i also figured i could officially figure out what a few of the treadmill speeds really are (since my treadmill definitely seems to be 'off' the normal calibration). for the record, "6.0mph" on my treadmill translates to a 9:09 mile, which is kind of like a 10:00 mile i'm sure.

i took the first two miles easy ("6.0"), then picked it up for the middle 4 miles (7.0, 7.2, and 7.5) testing to see what each translates to in real life/figure out what i need to set it on for my regular tempo pace, and then slowed back down for the last two miles.

just before christmas i received a sweet motherload of gu roctane courtesy of outside pr and gu to do a product review on (thanks devon!). i've used a few of the yummy "regular" gu's before, and i'm excited to experience the extra 'oomph' the roctane's are advertised to bring. i was planning on first testing the gu roctane's out on my last pre-goofy long training run, but due to some unforeseen circumstances i had to skip that run. i was only running 8 miles today, but i thought it'd be a good idea to 'practice' and make sure my stomach could handle the roctane so as not to cause any unpleasant surprises next weekend. (i normally don't take any type of fuel/water with me unless i'm going 12+ miles, mostly because i'm lazy.)

i received a bunch of the vanilla orange and blueberry pomegranate flavored gu roctanes. at first i was a little leary about the blueberry pomegranate because i've never had a pomegranate and didn't know what to expect. i chose to squeeze down one of those today and was surprised with fruity-sweet-deliciousness. i'm still not sure what a pomegranate is, but it tastes pretty good in gooey-form and mixed with blueberries. after two tempo miles, i was starting to feel tired, so i tore the packet open (a simple feat while in motion) and easily squeezed the gu in. chased it with a few swigs of water to get the slightly sticky feeling out of my mouth and i was good as new. my upper body felt instantly refreshed, and after a few minutes it hit my legs and revitalized them for another 2 quick miles. that's my theory anyway.

everything went ok for the last 4 miles of my run so i'm assuming i'll be fine to use them next weekend in the half and full races. i figure i'll be able to feel the effects more and fully appreciate the benefits of gu roctane in those longer, more intense runs than i did in today's shorter 8-miler. a more complete review of my gu roctane experience will certainly follow the goofy challenge next weekend. (especially since i'll have all that extra free time from not-running.) i'm imagining myself flying past all the competition on my way to a huge pr thanks to the added boost of gu roctane.

mid-day run: 8 miles, 1:08:50 (8:36 avg pace), avg/max hr (173/197)