Thursday, September 30, 2010

all the married ladies

you may have forgotten, but i took a little stroll down a gravel path about 75 days ago. i know! who takes almost 3 months to post pics from their wedding. well, i do. i do! har har har.

this is just a teaser post to say - the pro pics are in and the "wedding recap" will be up soon. i never finished my h-moon pics either, i'm so good at these things.

photo by lauren gossett

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

mood: lifted

hello amazing fall weather! the summer didn't seem *that* hot, but i think spending 2 weeks in the south pacific "winter" helped break it up. darn, i guess we'll have to go every summer! don't get me wrong, it was certainly hot and humid here in south carolina, but it seemed a little more bearable this year (probably because i didn't run as much and spent more time in the air conditioned house). my electric bill was higher compared to last year now that i think about it.

anyway. it's been wonderfully cool here the past few days, with highs hitting the mid/upper 70's. it's a lovely break from the past 6+ months of 90 degrees and 1048204% humidity. california, i'm not all that sympathetic for you and your one week of hot weather, even if one day did hit 118-ish. be glad it's only one week of hotness and your humidity stays under control. :o)

i had a very enjoyable lunch run on tuesday. it wasn't long, but that's ok. i didn't feel all the "general fatigue" i've been feeling which is a definite win. apparently a little walk warm-up seems to help, and i can handle that.

tuesday (9/28) lunch run: 3.4 miles, 30:10 (avg pace 8:53), 72*
warm up mile (including the walking bit) - 9:34
"tempo" mile - 7:56
easy but could've been easier mile back - 9:03
extra 0.4 easy to run an even 30:00 - 3:35 (9:01 pace)
ok, ok, 30:10. once i got to 30mins i "needed" to round up to even mileage.

i was elated to see that i can in fact run the paces i used to. sure this was only a 3-mile run, but so was my run ten days prior and that pace was a solid two minutes/mile slower.

wednesday (9/29) pm run: 4.1 miles, 37:34 (avg pace 9:10), 62*
1) awesome weather
2) old 'easy' pace again
3) did not feel like death

now if i can string some sleep-filled nights together, we just may be in business again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

look mom, no running

you may have noticed a lack of running-jibber-jabber on here. it's a combination of nothing to talk about + minimal running.

week in review (9/13 - 9/19)
total miles: 21.30
time spent running: ~ 3 hrs 44 mins
avg pace: slow/as molasses
off days: 3
  • a slow 5-miler where i almost crapped my pants
  • a slow 7 on the golf course
  • another 6 on the golf course
  • an incredibly slow 3-miles, and three hours later - a 23-mile bike ride

week in review (9/20 - 9/26)
total miles: 10.45
time spent running/walking: ~ 1 hrs 56 mins
avg pace: slower/than molasses
off days: 4
  • a hot lunchtime 4
  • a boredom-induced mile walk at work
  • another 2-mile walk later in that same day
  • a rainy afternoon 3

see, nothing to write home about.

about those september goals...
  • lift 8 times (3x; improvement!)
  • do core at least 12 times (7x)
  • do yoga 4 times (3x)
  • go for 3 bike rides (3x outdoors for 89.5 miles + 1 trainer ride)
  • do 5 speed workouts (1x)
  • run 10+ miles 7 times (per training plan) (2x)
  • run 150 miles (94.10, not looking too good)
  • get my sleepy butt back in a morning-run routine (does 7am count as early?)
it kinda seems like a cop out, but i'm favoring rest over mileage until i "feel normal" again. i haven't slept well since june; sleeping through the night about once/week. so, when i don't wake up for a morning run/workout i can't be too upset - i obviously need the rest. i have prescription sleepy pills, but i'm trying to not use them. i've been feeling easily and overly fatigued when working out, and had a bit of a panic attack one night worrying that i'll die from not-sleeping. even though i don't get enough sleep, i'm still not tired during the day - not even during boring work meetings. yes, i went to have bloodwork done; no, nothing came up abnormal.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

let's run

josh saw me creating my giveaway winner video the other day and had to one-up me. it's pretty good if i do say so myself.

after mulling over a sunny, warm friday afternoon run - he got up and logged his miles. i think it was the first belly-search that convinced him.

a call for help:
fellow runner keith has been having some hamstring troubles which recently seems to have crept up into his back as well. he's looking for some insight on what he should do - feel free to share your $0.02 with him - whether a medical professional, formerly injured soul, or simply a wise runner.

Friday, September 24, 2010

entries to the nyc marathon

i had a great experience last year running the nyc marathon, but it is a tough one to get into with the lottery and qualification standards. there are still a few charity spots left for anyone who didn't get selected in the lottery or who would like to run nyc.

the fresh air fund is still looking for runners and sponsors to join their fresh air fund-racers team. you can sign up with them until 9/30; hurry, time is running out! i've mentioned the fresh air fund before - they are a worthy organzation with a great cause.

another organization with open spots is team continuum. they've even created a "crash training plan" in case you haven't quite been running all along. kind of a good idea, but kind of also a bad one! not that i've ever not-trained for a marathon before...

anyway check out either of those organizations to get involved and run nyc!

these are random, but thought i'd share in case anyone is interested:
  • 25% off zing bars - enter coupon code "amazing" at checkout (exp 9/27)
  • free shipping from macy' - promo code "X58B2Q8MBY1S" (exp 10/10)
i was emailed these coupon codes and am not being paid or perk'd to share them; simply sharing.

i also have a coupon code for a csn stores discount but then i checked the exclusions page... wow. so what exactly does that leave to buy? should you find something that works - use "80112912388" for 20% off one item, or "BE112912389" for $25 off a $100 order.

the results are in

congrats winner! :) email your address to me at: lindsay at chasingthekenyans dot com. your personal information will not be sold or used in a manner other than to mail you your coupons, i promise. you have until midnight est thursday 9/30 to claim your prize before a second winner is chosen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

no white at night

while i welcome the slight, gradual decrease in temperature (and perhaps more importantly - humidity), i am not happy about the days getting shorter. the sun is just starting to crest the horizon when i get ready for work around 6:45am, and dusk kicks in before 8pm. i am definitely a summer girl - i love the days where the sun doesn't set until 9pm or later.

i was recently sent this video by a rep for 3m. it's a good reminder to us all as we hit the pavement in the dark mornings or evenings this fall and winter.

i definitely failed this test - makes me want to get a head-to-toe reflective outfit!

i know some of my running gear (clothes and shoes) has an emblem or small strips of that silvery-reflective stuff (scientific name), but i do wonder if it is enough. my road id anklet has a good-sized strip of reflective material all the way around and when i know i'm running in the dark i wear this brooks nightlife hat ($24), complete with blinky red light on the back. dorky, yes, but i haven't been turned into road kill either.

new balance offers the 360 jacket ($90) for men and women that is made using 3m scotchlite reflective material. it just missed the cut for fashion week, but we runners eat too much to be found within 3 miles of the runway anyway. joking aside, the reflective material used on these jackets is a modification from that which is used to paint lines on the road. the 360 jacket comes with a music-friendly internal chest pocket and an "ice" (in case of emergency) tag.

as we wrap up the last official days of summer and kick off fall on wednesday, consider how visible you are or aren't to the traffic on your runs and take extra precautions if necessary. put on something with a little reflectivity and remember - "no white at night".

ps: don't forget to enter the pom giveaway - free coupons for pom juice!

Friday, September 17, 2010

overdosed on lsd

long slow distance makes long slow runners -seb coe
i've heard that so many times, yet always pawned off the excuse that you need "time on your feet" and "long slow runs are good for marathon training". yes, those are both true in moderation, but too much lsd* = lsr.

running has not been all cupcakes and sunshine for me since about october of last year. i've been slogging around for almost a year! this is pathetic. i've tried to do some analysis to see why this enormous rut was formed but haven't really pinpointed anything. i still don't think i was overtraining, but maybe all my nyc training plus the stress of life-on-the-road got to me. i've also had those random health issues (constant nausea/lightheadedness/feeling of malaise/inability to sweat/constant pain) that i am sure didn't help either. my training was slack before boston/kentucky derby and then i really slacked off from april to august. some weeks were better than others, but there wasn't any consistency. my easy pace kept getting slower and slower, and the speed work became less frequent non-existent. finally, i granted myself a few weeks of guilt-free laziness in july. if i ran, fine; if not, that was fine too.

after cutting myself some slack i actually started to want to run again come mid-august. now, not all days have been omgiwanttorunforhoursandhours, but i was enjoying it again. it's still a little frustrating because i seem to be getting slower and slower. yes i know i haven't done regular speedwork, but why is it so hard to get back to my cruise pace of 8:30-9:00/mile? (i've been seeing far too many 10:xx splits lately, what gives?) why do my legs feel heavy and slow; why does my form feel awkward? i've been running regularly, about 5x/week, for 5 weeks now. maybe i'm jumping the gun here, but i think after 11 years of running it should come back easier than this.

on my extremely slow "run" wednesday, i thought about the past almost-year of crappy running and all the ups and downs. i tend to be overly ambitious, and i probably went overboard trying to plan out the rest of the year to squeeze in as many miles as i can. yes, i used to run 60-70 mile weeks, but that's not something you can just hop back into (a lecture i've been having with myself). i'm living in the past like a former high school quarterback.

back in early august, i created a training plan for the upcoming 50k and (hopefully) a december marathon. i scheduled myself to be running 60-mile weeks again by the end of september... you know, 0-to-60 in 8 weeks is plenty of time, right? it's time i get realistic and focus on the big picture (running for life) instead of just my 2010 mileage. so what if i don't beat my 2009 mileage, it won't be the end of the world. i'm revamping the training plan so that i will still get miles in for upcoming fall/winter races, but with a new focus on base-building for bigger things (/better running) in 2011.

i think ice cube put it best --
hear me banging down these back streets
bumpin blackstreet, fiending like an athlete
life aint a track meet (no)
its a marathon

*just for clarification: i can barely make myself do lsd runs, and i certainly do not/have not/will not do lsd drugs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a wonderful birthday

today is my birthday but i'm the one giving a gift... read on.

last year i didn't post on my birthday, but i remember feeling stretched thin in kentucky: long commute, long work days, living in a glamourous hotel room, oh the life. i think josh and i went out to dinner at johnny carinos? my running was going better back then, averaging a solid minute/mile faster than i am now, hitting 60-70 mile weeks with relative ease (i didn't have to cook or clean afterall). hmm maybe i should've stayed in kentucky... riiiight.

about a month ago i was sent a few bottles of pom wonderful 100% pomegranate juice. to some, it is a tart juice, but i personally like a little tartness sometimes. i've never eaten a real pomegranate, but the juice tastes pretty good to me. since it is 100% pomegranate juice with 0g additives but 34g of naturally occurring sugars, i usually water it down a little.

a delicious pom wonderful-blueberry-strawberry smoothie
while i may be struggling with my mid-run/mid-bike fueling lately, one thing i have mastered is the post-workout smoothie. they are seriously the best part about running in the heat. lately i have been adding pom wonderful to my smoothies - there are a few different pom recipes found here that are rather tasty.

in addition to 100% pomegranate juice, pom wonderful also has pomegranate -blueberry, -mango, -kiwi and -nectarine juices (which flavor gets your taste buds most excited? tell me in your comment for a bonus entry). unfortunately i didn't get any samples of those, but i will be keeping an eye out for them at the grocery store. they also have cherry juice but i'm not a big fan of cherries so that one is not as tempting to me.

pomegranates are full of antioxidants, even beating out red wine. now you can trade that morning glass of antioxidant-fighting-wine for a glass of pom wonderful, and save the wine for unwinding after work (while still fighting those pesky free radicals). unless maybe you dread going to work and need the morning wine to get through the day, in which case you could save the pom juice for post-work rejuvenation. i won't judge.

anyway, along with my box of juice i also received a few coupons to giveaway to a wonderful reader. just leave a comment below to enter. giveaway ends wednesday 9/22; winner will be chosen at random. winner will receive two coupons for free bottles (16oz) of pom wonderful.

[both the juices and coupons were sent to me courtesy of pom wonderful, but my enjoyment of the juice is my own.]

Monday, September 13, 2010

bike bonk

sunday late-morning i dragged josh out the door for a bike ride. it's my birthday week, so i coerced him into a long ride. i imagine you're supposed to gradually move up with biking distance just like running because i bonked hard long before the ride was over.

recent bike rides:
7/11 - 27mi
8/29 - 10mi
9/5 - 21mi
9/12 - 46mi, totally normal progression right? i certainly don't do this with my running...

we rode a nice little 46-ish miler through the countryside with rolling hills. i did pretty well on the hills in the first half with dropping down the gears (like you all recommended) and pedaling steady, but eventually i just plain got tired and even the "granny gear" felt hard. i took a gu at mile 15ish, devoured a pack of gu chomps at mile 27ish, and took my only other gu at mile 29ish because i felt myself turning in spaghetti. unfortunately we were out in the middle of nowhere and there wasn't even a fruit stand, let alone a gas station, to grab a snack. we did ride through a vineyard and the smell of grapes was delicious. i was semi-tempted to stop, but warm grapes still aren't very appealing even in mid-bonk.

fellow biking friends, what do you fuel with and how often do you 'eat' on a ride?

sunday (9/12) ride: 46.5 miles, 3:36:25 (~12.9 mph), avg hr (151), 88*
initially i had thoughts of making this another brick, but i barely had energy to unlock the door. i did do yoga after i had something to eat, if bike+yoga counts as a brick. i might also count it as a lifting because there were so many chaturanga dandasanas that my arms are sore. i also feel like adding a disclaimer to make my avg speed not sound so bad - i just have basic platform pedals, not fancy clips or cleats. i'm telling myself that part of my slowness is from not being able to pull up on the upstroke.

week in review (9/6 - 9/12)
total miles: 38.35 (50 planned)
time spent running: ~ 6 hrs 14 mins
avg hr: 162.00
avg pace: 9:45/mile
off days: 2

running wasn't too exciting this week. technically i did a "speed" workout - 4 minutes hard/3 minutes easy for about 4 miles, but my 'hard' didn't seem very fast. once again i took an unscheduled lazy day early in the week and biked instead of ran on sunday so i was a little short on miles. i felt tired most of the week (not sure why) and my runs were sluggish.

september goals:
  • lift 8 times (...erm. workin' on it. sorta)
  • do core at least 12 times (2x)
  • do yoga 4 times (1x)
  • go for 3 bike rides (2x)
  • do 5 speed workouts (1x)
  • run 10+ miles 7 times (per training plan) (2x)
  • run 150 miles (62.35)
  • get my sleepy butt back in a morning-run routine with at least 6 early morning runs

Thursday, September 9, 2010

midnight flight: swept

week in review (8/30 - 9/5)
total miles: 28.50 (43 planned, yup)
time spent running: ~ 4 hrs 16 mins
avg hr: 171.75
avg pace: 9:15/mile
off days: 3

while i slacked (majorly) on the miles, i did run three races! yup, three races in one week. one night, actually. it was kind of like a track meet, but harder. regardless, my friend ryan and i cleaned house; he actually took home some money though whereas i just got some towels, oh and a ribbon.

anyway, after a grueling day of sitting at my desk at work, josh and i drove down to anderson for the midnight flight races. the temps were in the upper 70's and slowly cooling off, but not by much. it was humid too, but since i still don't sweat i didn't notice it too much.

first up was the 1-mile race, which started at 9:15pm. yes, the family fun race. i eyed my competition at the starting line...

i briefly contemplated a warm-up, but ultimately was too lazy. i figured i ought to conserve as much energy as possible for the races. not the right mindset, i know, and i'm sure i could've gone faster in the mile had i warmed up.

the race started promptly, but the start had been lined with kids so it took a second to push them out of the way (i'm joking, i promise). i quickly pulled ahead of the crowd with about 10 dudes. shortly after the turn-around two of the guys (high schoolers) stopped to wait for their friends, and i picked off a few more guys before heading in to the finish.

probably the best action-shot of me ever

after collecting my blue participant ribbon i turned around to congratulate the 2nd and 3rd place females:

they're way cuter than that ol' hag who won

midnight flight 1-mile: 6:12, avg/max hr (186/195)
1st place female; 4/354 overall
i really think i could've had a shot at breaking 6 if i had warmed up and ran harder (obviously). garmin said 6:04.

i gulped down some water and went back to the car to change my bib and d-tag chip. i headed off for a trot around the parking lot to stay loose, and stopped to chat briefly with a co-worker who was doing the 5k. i had about 30 minutes between finishing the mile and lining up for the 5k (10pm) and it flew by quickly. i took a pineapple roctane (gu) before the 5k in hopes that it would help with post-race recovery/soreness as it advertises and of course to give me a little boost mid-race. plus, i knew i still had one more race after the 5k and a roctane sure wouldn't hurt.

the 5k is the largest event of the midnight flight and i was not anxious to get up near the front. my legs were already tightening up a little from the mile. i never formulated a strategic plan for this night of racing, and because i'm stubborn i ended up going as-hard-as-i-could in each of them. that dizzy/light-headed feeling i had last fall? it came back again.

going out, the 5k is a gradual downhill and flattens out for a bit before the turn-around (all three races are out-back). nice going out, but a little tougher on the way back. i found myself striding back up the hill with relative ease, picking off a good number of people. nothing exciting about the 5k, except i was pleased to see a slight improvement from the 5k two weeks ago when i approached the finish (especially considering i'd done a lactate-inducing mile before it).

and you thought you had a bad race-face?

midnight flight 5k: 22:59 (avg pace 7:23), max hr (197)
1/57 age group; 129/1020 overall

by the time i caught my breath, chugged some water, went back to the car to change my race bib and d-tag chip one last time and jogged maybe a quarter-mile to stay loose, it was time to line up again for the 10k (11pm). i shot another pineapple roctane and chatted with my friend ryan for a few minutes before settling in the pack. i distinctly asked him if he was going to win, and he said "yeah right, the 5k was rough". we both questioned why we thought we should sign up for multiple races.

here's my big yellow butt talking to ryan

like the mile and 5k, the 10k was out and back as well, except now there were two long downhills and two long uphills. somehow they are the kind of downhills that you can't just coast either. my legs were tired and the dizzy/light-headed feeling was even worse than it was before/during the 5k. i am now thinking it is caused by running hard, because it first happened last year after a tough track workout. anyway, i pushed through the 10k, motivated by an (annoying) group of high school girls and determined to not let them beat me. the last hill (not quite a mile long) was tough, but i slowly picked a few people off like the previous race. i was elated to finally reach the turn to the finish for the third and final time that night.

more great race-face

midnight flight 10k: 51:56 (avg pace 8:21), max hr (199)
3/17 age group; 130/371 overall

the 10k seemed much bigger 5 years ago when i ran it, but turns out it's still about the same size. back then there was a whole awards ceremony after the races, but this year you just picked up your award at an inconspicuous table. not a big deal though. back in 2005 this race was my "re-introduction" to running after taking a few years off from high school cross country and i ran a 51:05. i suppose i've improved some if i can run a similar time after having run 4.1 hard miles.

oh and here's my buddy ryan, "not-winning" the 10k (33:00) after placing 3rd in the 5k (15:25):

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

list love

i am a list-nerd. i like making "to do" lists for the enjoyment of crossing things off. sometimes i put things on the list that are ridiculously simple just so i can have more things to cross off. i usually don't ever finish everything on a list though, go figure.

lacey recently overcame knee surgery, and with some serious dedication to her recovery is back to running 6-minute miles or something crazy like that. she's kept a goal list for each phase of her recovery/training and i thought i might try it out myself for mini-monthly goals. it certainly can't hurt, and being able to cross something off my list just may be the motivation i need some days (especially on speed days).

september goals:
  • lift 8 times (hopefully ~2x/week and not all crammed into the last 8 days of the month)
  • do core at least 12 times (1x)
  • do yoga 4 times
  • go for 3 bike rides (1x)
  • do 5 speed workouts (1x)
  • run 10+ miles 7 times (per training plan) (1x)
  • run 150 miles (more is ok of course)
  • get my sleepy butt back in a morning-run routine with at least 6 early morning runs
i need to get rolling since we're already a solid week into september. *cough* lifting *cough*cough*

Monday, September 6, 2010

cherry stalking

i don't actually like cherries unless they are on top of cheesecake, but i was recently tagged by grace (grace, it's amazing) and katherine (forward foot strides) with the "cherry on top" award. thanks ladies!

as usual this award comes with stipulations -- answer a question that has nothing to do with cherries, pass the award on and thank those who tagged you (done, see above). simple enough.

however, christina (lazy bones running) was also tagged with this award and posed an interesting thought - who thinks of these "chain email" awards that eventually get distributed to everyone?

i was curious (and bored) enough to try and track down the history... five times. here are my results:
of those 22 people, i had never heard of 19 of them before; there sure are a lot of running-bloggers out there. unfortunately the train stops at tasha, and she did not truly start the award. she saw it on another blog and started her own wave, which has been pretty effective thus far. until now anyway, after all that blog linking i don't know if this post can handle six more links.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

my first brick went a little like this

elevation from bike

my diaper shorts were calling to me again, as was the gorgeous weather so i went out for a bike ride sunday afternoon. i did a 10+ mile loop twice and negative split the laps (~43min for the first lap, ~41min for the second). i need some advice for hill-climbing though. i down shift (usually from 3/6 left/right to 2/3, i have a 21-speed commuter) and still feel like i'd be better off if i hopped off the bike and walked it up the hill. according to garmin the biggest hill is about 160ft climb, which just doesn't seem like it should whoop my butt?

i knew before i went out for the bike ride that i wanted to try and make it a brick. i wanted to see what the brick business was all about and i haven't exactly ran my miles this week. i'd be short on miles, but at least i'd get in a good workout.

i had a nice little headache going before i went out, so i made sure to drink a lot of water on the bike (a few gulps every 2 miles or so) and took a vanilla gingerbread gu after the first lap (~11 miles). when i got back to the house, i quickly changed out of my biking shorts and into some running ones, had a sip of gatorade and headed back out for a run. it had gotten a bit warmer (80-81) and i probably should have had another gu or something before going out for the run. my legs were spaghetti, but that was expected. i never found a rhythm and definitely bonked on the run. i could not wait to get home and make a smoothie.

sunday (9/5) bike: 21.25 miles, 1:24:43 (~15mph), avg hr 160, 76-80*
(finally a slight increase in average speed!)
sunday (9/5) run: 5 miles, 47:15 (9:27 avg pace), avg/max hr 165/179, 81*/36%humid