Saturday, September 24, 2011

A good week with a crap weekend.

I had a great run in the middle of the week, doing 6.42 miles without stopping for a walking break. This was a first for me. I had planned on running 10 miles today (Saturday) but of course the best laid plans and all that. It was my best friend's wedding this weekend. I had to spend Thursday night in a hotel and all day Friday being smack dab in the middle of wedding drama. Hooray. So the combination of not enough sleep, a crazy amount of stress, and hardly any real food made a 10 mile run completely out of my reach today. I couldn't even get out of bed until almost noon to start with. And by the time I made it out the door, it was already pretty darned warm for fall. I shuffled around for the first 3/4 of a mile and then just had to walk the rest. I logged just barely over 4 miles, and felt like dying for most of it. I'll hit the track again Monday morning and hope that I will have recovered from the wedding ordeal sufficiently by then. All I have to say is that those two better stay married, because I am not going through a weekend like that ever again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another running book review!

This week's book review is on the Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running by Dagny Scott Barios. This handy volume is a must read for any woman who's even thought about running. It's one of the first running books that I bought and still one of my favorites. It covers a wide range of concerns for women who run, from shoes to bras to running while pregnant and for running as women age. I especially like her running log excerpts. She has some very inspirational thoughts that helped to boost my own desire and motivation to keep on running. She also includes a guide to stretching, speed work, and cross training. The nice part is that there are pictures of the stretches and such. I don't know about you, but sometimes it can be difficult to translate the words into an effective movement. The pictures let you know if you're doing it right. I bestow a Gu rating of 5 Gu's to this fine reference guide to women's running.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Dirty Dash

I ran the Dirty Dash again this year. Well, I ran some of it... It's hard to run in mud and through obstacles. Plus, I was not really feeling it. Last year, I had someone to run it with and lots of people that I knew were there. It was a great atmosphere, like a big, muddy party. This year, I had to go by myself. For some reason, there was not a lot of interest from the people I know. I couldn't even guilt/bribe/coerce anyone to wait at the finish line to take pictures. It was a beautiful day up an Soldier Hollow, but honestly it was hard to enjoy the race. I don't mind running timed races by myself, I like that I ran the Nebo Half on my own. But when it's a non-timed, charity race/party it sure is nice to have people there to enjoy it with you. Next year, I'll see if I can get a team together and go all out with matching outfits. I may need to find more friends who run... Or who will at least sign up to get a little dirty.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I read a lot, cats and kittens.

Sometimes I like to address a group as "cats and kittens". I blame Dinosaur Comics. So anyway, I was looking around at the stacks and mounds and even piles of books in my home. And I've noticed a strange proliferation of running books. I thought to myself, "self, maybe we should write up some reviews on these books, let the other runners out there know what to spend their rest days reading." I have 5 running books in my possession at this time. I'll just tackle one at a time, since I have to get up at 4:30 and run. I will also be scoring the books on a Gu scale of 1-5. 5 Gu's is the best.

Tonight's book review is on The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide For Women by Dawn Dais. I wanted to start with this one because it made me laugh out loud more that once (of course while I was at work, reading on my lunch break and having coworker's wonder what was so funny).  This book is a great quick read, I finished it in just a day and a half. Her journal entries are absolutely hilarious. And she says a lot of what I'm thinking as I'm out there pounding the pavement. She has some good advice sprinkled throughout. One of my favorite parts was the stick figure illustrations of running stretches. I was trying to drink a protein shake while reading through that part and nearly shot brownie batter muscle milk right out my nose. I highly recommend this book to anyone who isn't a perky runner. It's a book for those of us with a nice, wide, sarcastic streak. And I bestow a rating of 5 Gu's to Ms. Dais and her entertaining account of marathoning.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm a finisher! (I have a medal to prove it!)

After almost 3 months of ups, downs, injuries, insomnia, and crazy running dreams, I have completed my first half marathon! Woooooo! It was a beautiful course down Payson canyon. They had campfires going up at the start to help us keep warm before the race started. Everyone is so friendly at races. I was there by myself but I was surrounded by my "running family". We started running as the sun was coming up. It was a nice downhill course, not too steep but it really helped my time. I managed to average an 11:27 minute mile for the race, a full minute per mile faster than my training times. I love you gravity. I was feeling pretty good until about mile 10, then the course started leveling out and some fatigue set in. The last 3 miles took some mental manipulation, especially since there were a few little hills to go up. I had it in my head that as long as I finished in under 3 hours, I'd be okay. I was able to surprise myself by finishing in two and a half hours! Now I have a PR in place to try and beat :)  The Halloween Half is coming up, and I can't wait!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hard core hiker :)

I conquered Mt. Timpanogos this week. It was a long grueling ordeal, fraught with peril. I managed to slip off the trail at one point. Luckily there were a lot of shrubs to grab onto... That's part of the thrill that comes with midnight hiking, right? But all in all, it was a good hike. We were all completely exhausted and nearly immobile by the end, but we lived! It was beautiful up at the top, watching the sun peek up over the Rocky Mountains. There were perhaps a billion mountain goats running around too.

As far as the running, I've been feeling really good. I managed to get out today and log 3 miles, despite still being ridiculously sore from the hike. It's just a good thing running uses different muscles than hiking. My mile time is staying pretty steady. That's okay for now; I'm not trying to break any records. I'm just glad my body is letting me get the mileage in. I'll be taking it easy on myself this week since my first half marathon is this Saturday! I figure I should be able to complete it in 2 and half hours or so. I'll have a full race report and hopefully some great pics to post :)