Tuesday, February 24, 2009

As Seen On My Commute This Morning

I had to share this. While stuck in slow moving traffic this morning, I was wondering why things were so congested. Normally, there is an accident and people rubberneck to see what happened. This turned out to be rubbernecking of a different kind.

Can't make it out due to my inability to take a picture into the sun while trying not to hit other cars? Its a bunch of protesters outside of a major company's regional headquarters, protesting layoffs. They also had a giant blowup rat, as seen if you can make it out in the top right of the picture.

One has to wonder where one finds giant blowup rats...last time I checked, they didn't sell those at Target or Home Depot.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekly Wrapup

It seems that these posts have pretty much been the standard for my input to bloggerland. And well...I have a right to explain myself. I have been very busy. Training. Job. Life. Recently, all 3 of these elements have come together at the same time. I've alluded to change a few times in recent posts. Now I'm willing to share.

REBECCA AND I MOVED!

Sadly, we had to leave our wonderful diggs in Arlington for the spacious confines of Fairfax. You see, a small 1 br for 2 people and 2 cats can only be home for so long. So, and if you follow Rebecca's blog much, you would know that we won the bid on a forclosure property that we both consider our dream house. Saturday was official moving day. We rented a large truck, enlisted the help of our willing friends, and made the voyage. We still have items to move, but the big stuff is gone. A box here and box there...some cleaning...and hopefully we will be all moved out. Then, it will be time to rent the place out. So if anyone living in the area knows someone who is looking, give me a buzz.

So as I am sure you could imagine, between the preparations of closing on the house, training for a marathon, and working increased hours over the past 3 months at work...I've been what most people would call a little busy.

But, as always, I bring you my training stats for the week.
- Monday - 4 miles easy
- Tuesday - had to take an extra day off since my hamstring was unusually tight from Sunday's run still. Opted for ice and lots of foam rolling instead.
- Wednesday - 6 miles at tempo pace
- Thursday - 4 miles easy
- Friday - Rest
- Saturday - Moving day! Since I had 5 miles at marathon pace on the schedule, and moving consisted of 12 hours of constant lifting and squating, I think its safe to call it even and give myself credit for the 5 miles. My legs certainly felt the effort Sunday morning.
- Sunday - 15 miles in the snow/wind/rain - surprisingly peaceful
Total (including credit for the 5 miles): 34 miles

My hip flexors are a bit sore, but I kept the effort very easy on the long run. My heart rate was by far the lowest it has been at that pace, and I have really started noticing the trend that my body is really adapting to my consistency in training again. My pace to HR ratio is better than it was before the injury, which is great news.

I also got my orthotics this week (finally!). The bad news is that I am not allowed to wear them yet on my long runs, since I have to break them in for the first 2 weeks. Right now, I am restricted to my mid week runs only.

On tap for this week's training is my last increase in mileage before the taper begins. I am hoping for at least 18 miles this weekend. 1 run of this distance isn't the build up I had hoped for going into the race, but if I can get this run in, then I will feel much better. I'd rather be a bit undertrained and healthy than injured.

Have a great week...may it be less busy than mine!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Change to the National Marathon Course?

Thanks to Rebecca for finding this. Seems like it will be quite the rush to get this issue taken care of. I assume it will all work out. It will just be interesting to see how it potentially changes the course. Because...I am not really interested in running through the 9th St tunnel if it has been "closed for the next year" for necessary updates. Just sayin...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekly Wrapup

Another week of actual running! This week was the first one that I actually got back to pre-injury volume too. I still haven't run as long for my long run pre-injury, but I'm getting there.

Here's the breakdown of my running:
- Monday: 3 miles easy
- Tuesday: 6 miles (15 min warmup, 30 min tempo)
- Wednesday: 3 miles easy
- Thursday: 4 miles (run hard on the hills, easy everywhere else)
- Friday: Off
- Saturday: 5 miles marathon pace
- Sunday: 10 miles
TOTAL: 31 miles

I got out and ran 6 days this week, which I think is really helping my body get back to running smoothly. My heart rate is now down to levels I was seeing before the injury and may actually be lower, based on yesterday's long run. On the long run, I used the first 35 minutes to keep my heart rate in low Zone 2, then the next 35 minutes to push a bit closer to marathon pace. During the marathon pace portion, my heart rate stayed well within zone 2, despite some sections that included a mile long hill. So I think that bodes well if I continue to see my heart rate where it is.

This week is hopefully another step in the right direction. I need to get my long run distance up so my body can get used to the pounding. I'm feeling better each day, so let's hope it continues.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Birthday Blogging

I'm never one to toot my own horn and yell out to everyone that it is my birthday, but IT IS MY BIRTHDAY! Not really a major milestone, since I am one year short of the big three-oh. Only then will I panic and crawl under my bed trying to hide from all the clocks that say it is February 12 and officially old (no offense to those who have already passed that milestone).

So, I started my day off like everyone should - with a nice (actually pretty tiring) 4 mile hilly run. After I was done it felt nice. During...not so much.

Unlike previous years, I could not take the day off. Work has been breathing down my back for the past 2 months or so and this week is the culmination of a project. I'm happy to report that today in all likelihood is my last busy day on this project. So, it sucks that I have to work, but also nice that the pain and suffering will be gone (till the next project comes along).

Oh well...so thats my day. I've got lots of updates, but they will come in time...for now, I'm going to sit back and enjoy my day ;)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekly Wrapup

This week marked my first week of being back to running, since my 15 mile long run in early January. That first 1 mile run felt so great to just be out there. And then that 1 mile run turned into 2; and 2 into 4; and finally my longest run to date has reached 8 miles! Which I did on Saturday. And it too, felt good. Of course, having not run in about 3 weeks, my pace relative to my heart rate was a little higher than I'd like, but in all, I could not be happier that I was just able to get out there.

This week's total finished out at 21 miles, which makes me feel like I am back again. Still waiting on the orthotics, which hopefully will be in on Tuesday for my next PT appointment. Assuming I get those before the weekend, I'm hoping to up my long run and my week's total to closer to 30 miles so I can get back to where I was before this injury happened.

I'm on the mend (hopefully) and am trying to take it slow, while also giving me sufficient mileage to have some confidence going into the National Marathon, which by the way, is only a measly 6 weeks away. That gives me 3-4 more true training weeks to progress my mileage to a point where I'd feel comfortable attempting the distance again. We'll see how the progress comes along. I've got a great base from my earlier training before the injury and I have until March 1 to make any changes (ie dropping down to the half) in case my body is not ready.

These next 2 weeks will prove one way or the other as to which direction I will head. Of course, my life is also moving in a certain direction in these next 2 weeks, but more on that later ;)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jefferson Falls Flat

Rebecca found this and I just can't stop watching it! The Nationals held tryouts to be part of the racing presidents and clearly not everyone was able to make the cut.



I don't know what is more funny, the falling part or the fact that his face is covered in dirt when he finishes running. Now keep in mind that these head pieces weigh about 45 lbs, so it isn't as easy as it looks. I just think it is hilarious.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Updates!

I left my last post on a cliffhanger...the night before my "long run" of 1 mile to test out the foot. Well I am happy to report, that Test #1 went well. I ran an easy mile, didn't break a sweat, and called it a day. And I have to say - that mile felt GLORIOUS! You miss something you love doing for only 2.5 weeks and it feels like years. And the first moment you get a sniff of that feeling back after such a long break, it all returns back like it never left. Not so fast, I don't want to get ahead of myself. I will say though that although the mileage hasn't been that significant over these past few days since I've started running again, my mood is completely different. Which leads me to a conclusion that I've made: I need running to stay sane. I can ride a bike a get a high from an awesome ride and I can come back from a great swim and stand tall from sore back muscles after a workout, but there is some connection I have with running that is like no other. Likely due to the fact that I grew up doing it, but my mind and body work differently when I am able to run.

Let me give you the rundown (pun intended) on these past couple of days of running:

- Friday: 1 mile
- Saturday: 1 mile (plus 2 hours of spinning)
- Sunday: 2 miles
- Monday: 4 miles

Its only 8 miles, but it feels like a lot more. I am still very tentative when I am running though, because I know I am just one step away from feeling that pain in my foot. And the worst part is that I will never see it coming if it comes back. But the doc says to keep progressing as long as I am running pain free. Hopefully my orthotics will come in soon, which should resolve my concerns about my foot acting up.

In the meantime, I'm gonna keep on running...because I can!
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