Sunday, January 24, 2010

Slog - To walk or plod heavily.

Slogging is a great description for the challenging 10 miler completed yesterday. We received several inches of powdery new snow, making the roads and sidewalks a mess. Steve was working, so I first had to shovel the driveway and sidewalks before our nemeses decided to go on their daily walk (an older couple who likes to report things to the city such as overhanging tree branches, cracks in sidewalks, snow or ice, etc. that result in letters from the city threatening substantial fines to homeowners in the neighborhood). After my cross training, Buddy and I set out to complete the first 5 mile loop. We had to run in the streets because the snow was too deep everywhere else. As always, my Yak Trax worked great. Buddy kept up well and made surprisingly few stops along the way. It took us 55 minutes to complete the first lap because of traction issues. This did not include the detour to the Folf Course so Bud could scope out the latest deer tracks.
I returned to the house to drop Bud off (because of an old hip injury, he can't go further than 5 miles without a lot of pain), grab my Heed and Gu, and take off for the second 5 mile loop. My thought was that I'd be faster without dog and leash, but my body was a bit fatigued from the earlier cross training. By mile 9, I was truly slogging. I continued to run as my plan is to try and phase out all the walking I've been doing, but I think I might have been able to walk faster. It was a beautiful day though, with the snow continuing to fall.
As I walked up the street to cool down, I could hear frantic barking coming from my house. With dread, I opened the door to find this...
Apparently, Buddy was a bit confused and distraught as to why I left in running clothes and shoes without him. Somehow he got the closet door open, searched through various items and found his leash. Maybe he thought that if he could get to his leash, he'd be able to go out and find me? Unfortunately, in his efforts, he chewed through the leash, which meant yet another trip to Petco to buy a new one. Seriously, we should just buy in bulk.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Running and Restless Legs

Restless Leg Syndrome runs (no pun intended) in the family. I've struggled with it for several years, especially in my right leg. Lately, I've noticed that it becomes significantly worse as I build mileage. The last two nights have been awful, resulting in only 3-4 hours of sleep. My doctor indicated that dehydration and antihistamines can make it worse. I'd really like to avoid prescription medication, so if anyone out there in blog world has suggestions, please let me know.

Not being able to sleep has increased my trips to the local library in search of 2 am reading material. A couple of running related books I'd recommend include "The looniness of the long distance runner" by Russell Taylor and Bart Yasso's "My Life on the Run." The first is just a funny account of a first timer training for the NYC marathon; the second an entertaining recap of some great racing and traveling experiences.

Buddy and I are heading out for an easy run to celebrate an extra day off this week. Happy running everyone!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday Group Run

After 12 months off, I rejoined the group for a Saturday long run. It wasn't exactly long - we decided on an 8 mile loop as most people were "recovering?" from last week's Fat Ass. The loop is pretty much 4 miles of gradual up and then 4 miles of down.

The up didn't go particularly well for me. The group shot off and I struggled to keep up. After the first mile, my right achilles was burning. After months of taking time to warm up, I just went with it and hoped for the best. DUMB. My mind waged a mental war the entire 4 miles up and I'm certain I wasn't fun company. Once we reached the top, M and T were waiting, which was nice of the them, but I hate the thought of making people wait.

We headed back down, which felt great. By this time I was warmed up, and I just wanted to fly on down. Even more so when we hit the pavement. This recent enjoyment of road running has planted a seed in my brain. It's a rebuilding year anyway, so maybe I should go with it and train for a marathon?

As for today, the ankle is again sore, but I'm not feeling pain. The plan is to ice, stretch and rest it today, and try an easy run tomorrow. As much as I like group runs, I won't make the same mistake again. I'll either have to run to our meeting place to warm up, or start ahead of the group. As slow as I am right now, the second option might not be a bad one!

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 2010 Fat Ass!

It was a great day for running. Steve drove me out to Lump Gulch to meet the group a little past halfway. I managed 13.2 miles for the day and felt great. Several completed the full 31 miles and Rebecca did 21! Our reward was cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven, a pot luck dinner and good company.
The trek back to town

First look at the removal of pine beetle infested trees