Adventures In Running

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cross Training – Pool Running

My knees were a little sore between the marathon last weekend and also doing 8 miles on trails the next day. I wanted to get a good workout in without stressing the legs, so yesterday I did some pool running.

Luckily, my condo association has a pool right outside my front door. I don't use it a lot because I like being out running, but it is nice in the summer for occasional swimming and/or pool running. (Let's face it – pools lost some of their luster when my kids were young and my son's primary entertainment was trying to hold me underwater). I have a floatation belt that keeps my head above the water and use that for pool running.

65 minutes around and around in the deep end. Very boring. I'm glad I am not injured and having to do this all the time. One of the FastRunningBlog members suggested using an iPod to pass the time, so I clipped my iPod shuffle on the bill of my cap, twisted my oldest set of earbuds around the back of the cap to take up all the slack and stuck the earphones in my ears. I would switch directions after every three songs just to break up the monotony.

Less stress on the joints occurs in the pool, plus you get more of an upper body workout. Ah – the things we do to stay in shape!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kind of like the Energizer Bunny

I took the puppy up to the Pipeline Trail yesterday morning and we ran/walked over 8 miles. This was her longest adventure by far. Not only could I not get Twilight to drink anything the entire time, but she took a quick nap on the way home and then was still raring to go and have me play with her.

I swear I need to be able to turn an on/off switch to get that dog to calm down!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Park City Marathon

The Park City Marathon was held on August 22, 2009. This is my third year in a row running this race. Finishing this race means I am one step closer to getting a guaranteed entry into St. George in 6 weeks. A few weeks back I was seriously considering not doing any more marathons the rest of 2009 - now I am doing 3 in 6 weeks.

I am not going to post my splits because I did not 'race' this race. I went into it as a training run for St. George. This has not been my summer for running between injuries and illness. Even this week I battled being sick Wednesday through Friday and my cough kept getting worse.

Leslie and I decided to start a little after 5:30 and I was going to pace her at a run 4/walk 1 pace through the marathon. It turns out they changed their early start method, so we inconvenienced the RD a bit, but she let us start as a second wave. I think we finally headed out between 5:40 and 5:45 a.m. Luckily it was warmer up there than the past two years (49 when we started) - so on top I had my UVM shirt, sleeves, and gloves and was pretty warm except for right around sunset.

The first four miles were a challenge in the dark, but we found the course okay with headlamps. Gary was running as a bandit and Leslie's pacer. I had planned to stick with Les the entire race, but the first few miles gave me an indication that I was going to move faster than her and since she had Gary, I finally told her I needed to take off at 6 miles.

Continued with the 4/1 schedule and was enjoying getting the legs moving faster after that. The first runner passed me right at 8 miles and was already about 100 yards up on the second place runner, then another 100 yards before the next two runners.

Shortly before that the 4 hot air ballons were up in the air. I always enjoy watching them as I run.

AmberG passed me around 9.5 miles as the second female runner. She was only about 50 feet back from the number 1 female and I hope she won. I saw the former #1 & 3 runners at the turn in Park City and never saw Amber, so hope she was in the lead by then. (It turns out she did win. That is incredible).

Davy Crockett passed me around mile 10 and said hi. I can't believe he ran the equivalent of another marathon on Friday - but up to the top of Kings Peak. He is awesome. I wish I could do the mileage and crazy runs he does.

I was really hungry about mile 11-15, so started popping in a bit more shot blocks. I decided the Park City Marathon course is a bit like having a baby. I only remembered a few uphills, but when you get on the course, you find out most of the first 16 miles is uphill, with a few more thrown in later for fun. I forget about them after the race.

Did a little more walking on the steeper uphills through the backside of old Park City and up to Deer Valley. It is sure nice to get to the top of the parking lot and get some downhills after that. It was starting to get really warm then, but I had a woman offering free showers hose me down pretty good and that helped a lot.

About mile 19.5 I was cruising down the city street when some runner rudely elbowed me. Almost said something not nice when I realized it was RAD, accompanied by a posse of Smooth and Bec. We said hi and then got our picture taken together at the mile 20 aid station (where I was grateful for bananas and oranges).

The legs were starting to feel a bit tired and I had a few tiny twinges in what felt like the ITB area on the left knee, but knew I just needed to keep pushing and get done. Shortly after the old barn, we turn and head through a culvert and I saw my sister up ahead waiting on her bike. She accompanied me the rest of the race and took pictures for me. It was great to have her along and see her looking healthy and having fun with me. She is a great support system (especially since she had to be a nurse tonight from 2-10 and again tomorrow from 6-2).

The mailman from my work, Mike DeWaal caught up to me around mile 22. He pushed me for a mile until Marcia caught up and took our picture and then I dropped my pace again. Mike was running this as marathon number 49, so that St. George will be number 50 for him.

It was nice to pass the final uphill right before mile 25 and get near the end. I had a great kick at the end - which leads me to believe I had more in me than I knew. But - again - this was a training run, so that is how it should be. It was nice of them to give me a medal in my favorite color of blue - and it matched my outfit!

Stood around the finish for a while, then walked back out a half mile to meet Leslie and Gary and run back to the finish with them.

My sister then took me to lunch at the Cottonbottom Inn for their yummy garlic burgers.

I plan to ice bath tonight and then tomorrow do some ultra marathon prep by doing 11-13 miles slow to get my body used to moving on tired legs.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Midnight Moon Run 5K - Sandy, UT

I wasn't sure what to expect on this race because I am normally exhausted by 10 p.m. and staying up for a race at midnight was questionable. I convinced Melinda Aaron from the FastRunningBlog (I have had the occasion to work with her through my job) to run with me and we met part way through my warmup.

I started with a 1.5 mile warmup. I was wearing a new headlamp my sister gave me that clipped onto my bill cap and it worked well for checking my Garmin. They had 300 people signed up this afternoon and I think there were about 350 total entrants. Between injuries and sickness I didn't expect a PR - I wasn't really planning on racing - just staying sub 30 minutes for the race.

Lost a few seconds at the start because we didn't hear the start and then had to pick our way through the pack. We split up quickly because Melinda is younger and faster than me. I was a bit ahead of pace the first quarter mile because I knew it was a gentle uphill - looking back I wish I had pushed that first quarter mile more. After the second corner, I realized the gently uphill was followed by a long and not so gentle uphill. I kept passing other runners and lots of walkers, but was frustrated because my pace was above 11 mm pace at times. (OK - the guy pushing the double stroller that blew past us on the uphill was pretty annoying). Finally at .95 there was a bit of flat and then another small uphill.

Passed one mile at about 10:22 and knew I had some ground to make up. I was also a bit concerned because my right achilles tendon was still very tight. A little after the 1 mile mark the course flattened out for a couple of blocks and then started the downhill. I tend to be conservative on downhills, but was feeling the racing bug and started pushing myself relatively hard. I passed about 30 or more people in mile 2 and didn't get passed by anyone. The tendon loosened up sometime during this mile and finished mile 2 in 9:18. (7:37 best).

Mile 3 was a combination of flat and about a quarter mile of gentle uphill before a final downhill section. I was passed right after the downhill ended by about 5 other runners, but managed to pass them back and about 15 more in the final mile. Caught one guy I had been chasing down most of the race at about 2.5. The last several blocks were on a paved path that had a lot of weeds and ruts and I had to try and speed up to shoot gaps and pass runners. Finished the mile in 9:12.

Two teenagers caught me right near the end, and I was not able to get enough of a kick to gap the final runners about 1/4 block ahead of me. Final time: 29:10 (59th place, 4th in my age group)

Melinda high fived me in the chute and was excited that she had finished 4th in her age group, but mentioned that she wished she had pushed a little harder to get a prize. I was shocked and pleased to find that I was 4th in my age group and also wished that I had pushed a little harder to get an age group prize.

It was a nice, but tough course and I think I am going to train on it some during the day time in order to come back next year and really race this course.


Saturday, August 1, 2009


I have been struggling a lot this summer with health issues that I don't normally experience anymore now that I am pretty fit.

Between a cold/infection that has lingered in my chest for almost 2 months and several leg injuries (IT Band, Piriformis) - it seems like my fitness has actually gone downhill since the end of March.

I have done a lot of thinking this past month and have decided that I brought some of these problems on myself. I was pretty happy being a slow runner and fast long distance walker since I started marathon training in 2004, but got sucked into thinking I had to become fast since joining the FastRunningBlog community last summer.

I am trying to change my training focus back to where it used to be - except with some slight improvements in being able to run between 6-10 miles without walking and improving my speed a little at a time.

Hopefully, if I can endure to the end of this marathon season, as my body rests and I take stress off myself, I will be able to get my running/walking mojo back and go back to feeling good about myself.