Monday, September 26, 2011


With three weeks to go, it's taper time. At least for me. This is my first marathon training cycle that I've actually made it to the taper without being sick and injured. (Yes, sick and injured.) Granted I have three weeks to go, but with my last 20 miler behind me I feel good about my odds.

It's funny how training cycles go. This marathon was planned during my pregnancy with Emily, but after Providence this past May...I was seriously considering switching to the half. I just felt wiped. Emily isn't the best sleeper, and I had been surviving on 4 hours of sleep a night. The lack of sleep was getting to me. Thinking about training for another marathon so soon made me exhausted. Then AM asked if I was interested in doing a long run. I was hesitant, but decided that if I survived a 20 miler with her, I'd suck it up and run the marathon. Well, that first run went well. Two others have gone well too. Now I'm excited to race in three weeks. I'm excited to start tapering while healthy. And just generally feeling good.

My last 20 miler was this past weekend. AM and I wound up running 7:40 ish pace. It was gross out. Humid and unseasonable warm, but we got through it. I definitely didn't feel as good after this run as I have for the others, but I'm blaming the weather.

I'm looking forward to tapering. I'll be doing a 20% reduction in miles this week and another 20% next week. My peak mileage week was 53, which isn't a ton of miles, but I did have several weeks in the 50 mile range.

Now I just need to survive the bugs that a certain preschooler is bringing home with her. Seriously, we're drowning in snot right now. Everyone in the house is sick (except me). I fully expect to get sick, but given that I've made it to taper time I'm okay with that. I should be able to get the extra rest that I need to help me fight whatever is causing the river of snot.

Completely unrelated to running (but still fascinating), doesn't it seem like children were designed to spread yucky bugs? Kaylee is getting better at sneezing into her elbow, but I still get it in the face from time to time. And Emily? Well, if she sees me coming with a tissue she immediately starts wiping her nose on anything in sight (and then proceeds to play with the snot). It's glorious.

Since I'm just throwing randomness about, I received a "regret" email from the BAA today (meaning that my qualifying time was not fast enough to get me a number for Boston). I was a tiny bit disappointed, but given that I barely qualified in the first place the outcome wasn't surprising. I am impressed with how the BAA has handled registration this year. I actually received an email and the email stated what the cut off time wound up being for my age group (3:38 if you're interested). It's nice to know what to shoot for (and in this case 3:38 is actually slower than what the qualifying time will be for next year). I receive the news at an interesting time. Three weeks to another marathon that could potentially qualify me for Boston 2013...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Socks are cool

Things have been crazy! And the crazy has absolutely nothing to do with running. I didn't run anything particularly special last week. I ran 50 miles, most of them slow. There was one 10 mile MP run. That's really all I have to say about running...well yesterday I ran an 8 miler at 7:11 pace, which was cool.

Last week I mentioned preventative maintenance, or something to that affect. Getting stronger and preventing injury is at the top of my objective list this year. One of the more interesting activities I've picked up in my quest to remain free of injury is wearing compression socks.

I've had some nagging Achilles's heel tightness for the last two years. It doesn't seem to get worse, but it doesn't get better either. I've been trying to figure out what I can do to help those heels out. Advice I've found seems to range from don't wear shoes ever to wear shoes all the time. Every piece of advice I find, there's the opposite advice out there too. What seems reasonably correct is that once the the Achilles's tendon is strained or injured it's slow to recover due to poor circulation in the area. Hence the compression socks. Those super expensive socks claim to increase circulation. Also, through trial and error, I have figured out that there is something going on with my calves that isn't helping. Now I wear compression socks and stretch my calves, and the heels seem happy enough.

I have two pairs of socks. The Recovery Sock, which was confusing at first (at least to me). The socks are sold as a pair, not a single sock, but the literal engineer in me was a little nervous that I was only ordering a single sock (given the name). My review...I like them. I run in them, sleep in them, recover in them.

I also have a pair of CEP socks. These socks get an A+ for looking cool. I have the hot pink pair and personally think they're snazzy looking. (Nick thinks they look a little silly.) They're great for running and walking around in, but I find if I sleep in them my heels are tight in the morning. Not sure why that happens.

To be honest, I don't feel a difference between the Recovery Sock and CEP. Both pairs are helpful, but I wouldn't be able to recommend one over the other. The CEP socks look a bit cooler, but the Recovery Sock is almost half the price. Although I wouldn't want to recommend one over the other, I can definitely say that they do help me recover. Enough so, that I'm entertaining the idea of buying a third pair.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A refrigerator full of peaches

My refrigerator is packed full of peaches. Seriously. Peaches. Well, there's a huge bag of apples too. Nick told me the peaches make his mouth tingle. Since I rarely bake (and never peel things), it look likes I'll be eating four peaches a day for several weeks. We went peach picking on Friday and bought the "big" box for picking. The box looked smaller in the wide open space that was the peach orchard. I'm fairly certain it doubled in size by the time we got it home. It's a magic peach box that doesn't fit into the fridge... None of this has anything to do with running, but peach picking was cool.

Running is going well too. I think. This whole training cycle is about making me feel strong again, and bringing the fun back. That translates into running whatever I feel like, and not concentrating on a time goal. I'm not completely crazy though, I do have loose goals regarding long runs, marathon pace runs, and trying to keep my weekly mileage at a reasonable level. This past week I ran 53 miles. I'll probably peak at 55-60 miles (depending on how I feel). The one more stringent goal I've made for myself recently is to consistently do push ups, ab exercises, strength stuff for my knees, foam rolling, using "the stick", and icing whatever feels tight. I am making a real effort to avoid becoming injured. We'll see how that goes...

I had a great long run this weekend with AM. We did 22 miles at 7:48 pace. Because AM is faster than me, I prepared for the run almost like it was race. I cut my caffeine consumption by 1/2 all week. I went to bed early on Wednesday and Thursday. I ran most of my miles earlier in the week, and took rest days on both Thursday and Friday. I felt reasonably good the whole run, and felt great at the end. Running with AM makes long runs so much easier! And I don't know if it was the caffeinated Roctane or what, but I felt great the rest of the day too. We went to Boston, walked around for a couple hours, and saw a random break dancing street performance. Cool beans.

I ran a recovery run on Sunday, which went fine. By Sunday night though, I was feeling tired. And today, my legs feel trashed. That's fine. I'll take it easy until my legs no longer feel trashed. Problem solved.

In other news, my two little ladies recently had birthdays. Kaylee turned 4 and Emily 1! They're doing well and keep me busy. Yes, I am blaming them for my lack of blogging. I still read everyone's blogs on my phone, I'm just struggling to find time to post...okay, I'm off to eat some peaches. Happy trails!

Me and my little ladies