Back on Track

Last week John and I were in London and Paris, so other than LOTS of walking, I did nothing. I brought my running shoes with good intentions, but let's be serious - we were in Europe!

I am glad to be home, and after some All-Bran, fresh fruits and veggies, and an 8 mile run around the neighborhood, I fell like at least I am heading back in the right direction. My run was great, not fast, but I felt good and my HR was lower than I was expecting. Dinner was cranberry oatmeal with extra cranberries and whey protein. Not the greatest, but not the worst.

Tomorrow I am doing a brick on the trainer and then around the neighborhood since it's supposed to be in the 40s, then swim on Wednesday and run at WyCo on Thursday. John's out of town tomorrow and Wed, so I'm flying solo for a couple days. Good time to attack my training plan!


Run the Mud

My First Ultra Marathon
There once was a girl named Sam.
Her first 50k she ran.
Lots of mud and some pain,
she will never be the same
with her finisher's medal in hand!


Fair Weather Fitness Fans

Spring is in the air and I couldn't be happier! All of the usual signs are there: my tulips are coming up and the red buds are getting ready to pop. And of course, one of the clearest signs of spring - the fair weather runners are back!

I'm always somewhat amused by the people out running this time of year, especially when they're huffing and puffing like it's their first run since Labor Day. And maybe it is. I think it's great their out there running and being active, but a little part of me gets possessive of the streets in my area. I ran here all winter, in snow and rain and temps below 0, when no "normal" person would want to be outside, and that makes the streets mine. But I guess I can share. After all, that was me a few years ago.

But maybe that's why I like running in the rain so much. The streets clear out and there are no strollers or dogs, it's just me and my empty streets. When you do see another runner out on a crappy day, you always says hi or wave. There is a connection when you run in the rain - you'd rather be outside in the rain than be relegated to a dreadmill in a gym somewhere, or worse yet, sitting on your couch.

Trails are the same. You don't run trails because that's an easy option. So when you see or meet others on the trail, you always say hi, just because you have the wilderness in common.

I know that fair weather runners will come and go. When the temps hit 90, the streets will again clear. And I'll still be running, praying for winter. :)


Trail Nerd Swag

At our usual Thursday night run, John and I had a nice surprise. Bad Ben gave the two of us hats for being "Thursday night anchors" and leading the group runs at WyCo. I'll go ahead and admit it - I'm a total dork and this really made my night.
It made my night for two reasons. 1. It's a nice Sweat Vac hat and I could use another running hat. 2. It was nice being called an anchor. And yes, I take being called an anchor as a compliment. :) We've been running consistenly on Thursdays since July (and only recently do I not get lost).

We do Thursday nights because we love it. It's the one group event I do a week and I even plan around it. The guys at work know I won't work past 6 on Thursdays and I even turned down playing on a beer league sand volleyball team because the games were on Thursdays nights. Now that's dedication.

So if you're ever in KC on a Thursday night and want a personal tour of some of the best trails in the area, you know where I'll be. And I'll be wearing a pink hat.


Cut the crap

I came to the shocking realization a week ago that Boise is less than 100 days away. I don't even want to think about how close Free State is. After the 50k, I took some time off, worked on the house, got sick, got stranded in the middle of rural Missoura (see http://roecircle.blogspot.com/2009/03/adventures-of-bad-luck-chuck-and-his.html for the story), and I've been working 10 hour days. Which means I have been training very little.

So I feel like I'm back to a crawl. I went out on Thursday for an easy run at WyCo by myself and between the chest cold and time off, I felt like a giant chunk of crap sweating out lard. Last night I rode my bike for an hour and I'm amazed at how sore my shoulders are today from being in the aero position. I'm planning on swimming tomorrow night and I'm sure 3000m will kick my butt. Maybe it will be more realistic to do 2000 and then re-evaluate. Tonight I'm planning on an easy hour-long run around the neighborhood, maybe more if the weather is OK and I'm feeling good. With Free State a little over a month away, I need to put in time on my feet.

I'm trying to be more realistic about what I can fit into a day and so I will be scaling back on my schedule and expectations. I have finally faced the fact that I will not be swimming in the mornings - it is too hard to take everything and get ready at the gym and too long to come back home. And I like to sleep before 6 am. When it is warmer out, I'll try to do my running speed work in the morning since that is a shorter workout. Let's face it, the days of me getting up at 5am to work out are long gone.

I'm also going to cut back on the races I want to do this summer. I need more weekends with fewer plans. I also think if I focus on doing a few events well instead of a lot of events under-prepared, I will be happier and perform better. For now, I have Free State and Boise to focus on. I'd like to get in one more triathlon and do some trail running, but I'm not committing to anything.

The longer days help, and for the next two weeks, my main goal is consistency. Not even quality. My HR monitor totals for workouts last week: 1 Total, Time: 59:56, Calories: 655. I know I can do better than that. It's time to cut the crap or quit calling myself an athlete. Cut the crap, Sam, and get your ass outside.


Young and Hip and Cool

I took some time well-deserved time off after the 50k. I put in a few easy work outs and we did a lot of work on the house. We took our time off and decided to have a little fun, too. And why not? We're young, 20-something professionals. We're hip and cool, right?

It started with a Friday night at the Power & Light district. We met some friends for drinks and bad 80's music. We still made it home by 11 pm, but I drank much more than I usually do, since Saturday mornings are usually my long run. That rolled into a very busy Saturday and Sunday at the house. (You can check out our progress at Our First House)

Monday I woke up with a cold. Nothing too bad, but I was congested. Tuesday night we went to the Flogging Molly show, which was awesome. Home by 11:30, but then I had to be up at 4:30 am for a site visit near St. Louis on Wednesday. I can handle this, I'm young, with lots of energy!

By Wednesday afternoon, I was going downhill, fast. Nevertheless, when the neighbors asked if I wanted a beer, I couldn't say no. I'm young and hip and cool! A beer turned into 5 or 6, followed by pizza. I had a great time and it was a lot of fun, but probably not the wisest choice.

Thursday I woke up, called in sick and went back to sleep until 1:30 pm. My little cold had turned into a full-blown chest congestion and it was difficult to breathe. So much for the healing powers of beer. I still don't have a voice but at least the headache seems to have subsided.

All this only shows that I am not young and hip and cool. At least not if I want to be healthy. I need 8 hours of sleep every night and limited alcohol on weekends. I also prefer to work out than to lay on the couch. While some people can go drinking mid-week and live on 4 hours of sleep, I am not one of those people and I'm OK with that. I'd rather spend my Saturday mornings on a long trail run than in bed coughing or hung over anyway.

I'm on the upswing now and I'm hoping to get back to a normal training schedule this week. Lesson learned.