Archive for the ‘hills’ Category

This week’s long run

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

This week’s long run got pushed further out in the week, I keep getting further and further away from a consistent Monday LSD run. Overall I am going to say that is ok as I have been getting them in and I keep making them longer. However Monday is the perfect day of the week for them so hopefully I can get back on track especially considering that today’s run was the second quality run I did this week (actually second run in a row too). Though to do another long run in three dyas seems excessive.

I feel like I am really building on my base, the long runs seem much easier or should I say less painful! Today’s run was 12 miles exactly and interestingly I almost kept it under a 10 min mile pace (ended at 10:04). I was under 10 through nine miles, but the final three were more or less uphill as I climbed up from the waterfront to my neighborhood. And I can’t really say the entire three miles was all up-hill either, but there are some tough patches!

This was actually the second fast run that I did. Two days ago I did eight miles at a 9:13 pace which felt really good. I was strong throughout and even considered adding some miles to make that my long run but I had a rehearsal that night and was already pushing it.

I’m not really sure what has changed to make these runs feel better. I have been eating and sleeping well, so I am sure that had something to do with it. Still it doesn’t seem like that would completely explain why I have been running so strongly as of late. Both of the last two runs have been on injection day and I have always said that I feel stronger after the rebif, so maybe that has helped as well. My weight is also down a bit and I am sure that is a factor. Whatever it is I’ll take it!

I have been curious to see how my feet reacted to the increase in miles and the consistent longer runs with the zero-drop shoes. I really feel like a convert. I don’t have nearly the fot pain that I was experiencing before with the thicker heals, in fact I wore a pair of boots the other day that made me imagine that this is what high heals must be like! Changing my stride to more of a ball landing/mid-strike (as opposed to just a mid-strike landing) is working better than I had imagined. I have always felt like more of a distance runner than a sprinter. Initially I was concerned that I wouldn’t like running more like a sprinter, but it seems to feel much better overall even though the majority of my running is mid-strike oriented. With the zero-drops I occasionally will concentrate on my feet landing on the balls of my feet and spreading out in my shoes (Altra) expansive toe box. It feels really good landing that way. Despite initially having trouble lifting my feet enough to clear cracks an other obstacles, I seem to have corrected my gate enough so that it is not an issue (even though I am not lifting my feet much higher, at least consciously).

I have been pretty good about fueling for my last couple of long runs, gels and water. They both seem to make a pretty huge difference in my running performance. Today I was starting to fade a bit around six miles. A couple slugs of Hammer gel and my energy level picked up and I was able to comfortably continue.

The long runs have been great but I am reaching that point where increasing the mileage every time is making the runs a huge commitment, both in terms of time and the mental ability to gear up for them. Two hours seems pretty doable, but I know longer runs are soon going to be getting up closer to three (an beyond). My other problem with them is having interesting places to go. I have a pretty decent 11 mile run that I can add onto so maybe I’ll use that as a base for my longer runs and then just add on. Today’s route was new(ish) to me and I could probably use that as a good base as well even though I don’t really care for all the uphill at the end (pretty much my curse living on a hill.

I am starting to think about a long race again. My pace is pretty slow even though I do feel it getting faster (or is that just the last two? Yes it probably is). Still running another marathon would be fun, maybe make it a destination run which would be super fun (then again I can’t think of a better place to sleep the night before than my own bed.) We’ll see.

Oh and did I mention it was 28 degrees when I left? Brrrrrr.

Long hill run to the volcano

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Once again I find myself struggling to break out of a string of rest days, but once again I did it. Another week off but two runs in the last two days with today’s being a quality LSD/hill run up Mt. Tabor. Couple of things were weird on today’s run. As I silently cursed my neighbor for parking on the right of way (we have no sidewalks in my neighborhood) and causing me to run into the street (no traffic, but their could have been, jerks!) my water bottle fell out of my recently loosened running belt. The stupid spout broke and a piece popped out, so when I stuck in back in I kept squirting water onto my back (not totally objectionable…) so I emptied out my worthless bottle and stuck it back in. I would like to blame my inconsiderate law breaking neighbors for making me vere into the street causing the bottle to break, but reality says it was probably that I loosened it (much more comfortable). I thought at the time either that or its karma for my general irritation with my neighbors.

The second thing that happened occurred after I asked a dog whose owner had him off leash if the dog had in fact “lost his leash.” Not 10 seconds later a woman with another dog off leash appeared. I moved to the side of the trail to avoid her my irritation at “off leash dogs beginning to boil. Suddenly I was air borne having tripped over this large rock and landing solidly on my hip and elbow. Again, karma? She did ask if I was ok (and I was). We chatted a bit and I headed off dusty and bloodied. I really do think I was being told to relax and get in a better mood. It was a beautiful day, I had new good music on my iPhone (Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears), hot but shady, what more should I ask for? So I decided to change my tude.

Other than the karma altert the run today was pretty hard. I took a few walks, but ended pretty strongly. I think more water would have helped quite a bit, the water fountains I found while numerous were still inadequate. I did ok with what I had (probably 5-6 water breaks) but still not enough. Can’t say it more, must drink water.

Tomorrow is supposed to get into the 90s, but I still really want to get a short recovery run in. I am pretty sure I will be going to bed early. Ruthann and I had a great meal at Dove Vivi and I think I have replenished ALL my calories. Good sleep is on the way.

Hill run + stairs

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Today I decided to break from my usual routes as of late and go on my favorite run up Mt. Tabor. I can’t do the volcano too often as it is a pretty hard run and it usually takes it out of me. As I was heading up to the top I thought about the stairs that I never take (I instead take a much gentler incline that wraps around the east side. When I got to the top and was doing my victory lap around the half mile loop that rings the peak I thought instead of doing a second lap I should run down the stairs and back up. I was a little nervous about how I would hold up as I had never done them before, but I went for it. Down the steps I went seeing all my hard earned elevation evaporate and at teh bottom I reluctantly turned around. I have rather long legs and taking steps one at a time is often laborious. So I took them two at a time and up I went. The stairs in this area of Tabor are broken up into five mini sets. The first set went really well, I was up them in no time. Feeling inspired I continued on and found myself at the top of all five sets in no time. I thought to myself, what is the beef with stairs? These were easy! I was a little disappointed that they weren’t harder. Just a little though.

So back to the top I continued on my normal route and started thinking about the lower stairs. Tabor has a stretch of stairs on the west side that go about halfway up. They have always looked a little scary to me as they are steep and skinny, but there is a railing and fencing on either side to keep people off the embankment’s erosion project. so I wrapped around and decided that I would give them a shot since I had such good luck on the upper stairs. I was able to do two at a time for about half of the stairs and then I pooped out and switched to single steps. OMG it went on forever and ever. I finally just stopped looking up cause it was discouraging and instead focused on my feet. Bt the time I made it to the top my legs felt like they have never felt before. Big gumby like rubber things that I had no control over. Its a good thing there were railings going down as I definitely needed them. I made it to the bottom and continued on barely able to pull my feet up off the ground to clear roots and other obstructions in the path. Somehow I made it to the street level and slowly plodded the remaining two miles home.

Once home I realized how hungry I was and headed to the local Mexican restaurant for a burrito. As usual I can’t resist their tamales, so I loaded up on a couple and an order of chips. All my burned calories back in my stomach! As well as a belly ache. And now I need a nap.


Longest run in a couple months

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

I have been thinking of making my Mt Tabor run for awhile now. I don’t know why I have been so hung up on this and procrastinaty. I think maybe because it was the longest run I have done in a few months, 8.11 miles. I was curious to see how my foot discomfort would be affected. I even swabbed on some arnica gel before I pulled on my socks. Not sure how much it helps, but my feet didn’t really bug me until I was coming down off the mountain. That was when I really noticed that my show size somehow shrunk like 2-3 sizes (or at least that is what it feels like).

The run went pretty well albeit slowly. That has really been the story of my running life lately. Slow slow slow, like near 10 minute miles plus or minus a bit. If I am going under 10 min miles I feel like I am going pretty well! Oh the eight minute mile days… I do want to start incorporating some speed work in and build back up. I am feeling pretty good about getting back into the swing of things these days. I think the nicer weather has been a big part of it, though today it is nice and cloudy and cool, these will be the days I yearn for in the coming months.

My neighbors decided last night would be a great night to treat the entire hood to their campfire smoke. Woke me up after midnight and I had to shut my windows essentially trapping all the smoke in the bedroom. My lungs felt pretty flemmy this morning and I imagine that effected the run a bit. Thanks considerate neighbors.

Got my 40 miles for the week

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Today I finished off my week with a run to Mt. Tabor that put me over the 40 mile mark. I feel really good about this week as I had to do five days in a row of running to make 40 and on Wednesday (day one) this seemed insane. Now I just need to get a run in tomorrow in order to get a good start on the week, it’ll be a well deserved recovery run of some sort.

Today’s run up the mountain was really hard, I was tired to begin with and I didn’t see any increase in my energy level after I started the run. But I kept with it, I think the goal of 40 was really the only thing keeping me going. Next goal, do it again! Though if I run tomorrow I’ll at least have a good start on it unlike last week. And since there is no rehearsal this week I could run on Tuesday (which would be seven days in a row, ugh.) We’ll see. The plan right now is run Monday for six days in a row, we’ll see if I make it to seven on Tuesday.

New rolling hill run

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I woke up with one thought on my mind. How was my back going to feel after my first run since I decided to give it a break. I rolled over, no pain. I pulled myself out of bed, no pain. I stood up, no pain. Phew. Apparently I have given it enough rest after all. I still had some stiffness and a bit of pain during the run yesterday, but I had taken it easy and focused on running softly to alleviate jarring. I also only did minor stretching after the run and last night paying strict attention to not pushing it when it came to my back. The biggest thing I did was not laying down to watch TV, by sitting up in bed before I went to sleep I think I did the most good for myself.

The weather rumor today was that it was going to be cold in the morning and warm up later in the day. So I didn’t jump out of bed and head off on a run, but only made it to 11 before I gave in a headed out on roads. Last night watching the Blazer game I was thinking about where I wanted to run today. I decided on a new route down into East Moreland, across reed college, over to Cleveland Track and back home through Creston Park. The route was a combination of runs I normally make and it sounded interesting, so route chosen, off I went.

The first two miles into East Moreland and up to reed were pretty easy and I ran them a pretty stiff clip.Once through reed around miles 2 or so the difficulty of the route changed. Essentially I had to pay the piper for all the downhill I had been doing. And not only did I hit my first hill but I realized that the remaining run was basically a series of rolling hills one right after another. Up and down, up and down. I took the downhills slowly again focusing on soft running to avoid jarring the back and powered up the uphills. It was a good run and an interesting route to try again. I think I will add an additional hill through reed heading down to Crystal Springs near the Rhododendron Garden. I think it will make a good quality run, but a somewhat easier one and should be a good compromise for the transition from training to base building (or maintaining).

Back jarring hill run

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The other day I managed to do something not so good to my back. I think it happened when I went off an unexpected curb at night. It didn’t seem like something that was going to last at the time, but maybe I had strained something earlier and this was just the kicker to make it feel really sore. I am hoping it will repair itself over the next couple of days.

So with this in mind I have decided to take it easy on the old back. Instead of my usual weekly shoulder and back workout of bucketing out the bird ponds I used a trick new method of creating a siphon with a garden hose and drained it that way. I’ve been very careful about not lifting heavy things unless I use my legs. And on and on. So why when I quickly planned a solo Sunday run (my running partner wasn’t feeling well) why did I decided to do a back jarring hill run up and down Mt Tabor? No idea other than I am a blind idiot at times.

It was a pretty nice run on the way up. It was really chilly (in the 30s for the first time all fall) but it was really sunny and not windy at all. I initially was thinking I would run this pretty hard, but I backed (no pun intended) out of that plan. Still once I got to the volcano I did hit the slopes pretty hard and before long I was at the top and feeling good. Then I headed down and the jarring began. Every step on the trail from the top would compress my spine. I slowed down, but that made it worse. I had no choice but to continue down, so I did. It wasn’t as bad as I am making it sound, but it wasn’t great either. Once I gt home I decided to take it easy for awhile and just relax which I think helped out quite a bit.

Now this morning I am faced with another decision. I really should go for a run and a quality run to boot. Do I go to the track and see how things go through a straights and curves workout? Or do I just take it easy. I still haven’t decided…

Six runs in a row in the NW

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

I say six, but it is really seven in a row as one of the days I ran twice. Since getting back to the NW I have really been enjoying the lower altitude. Breathing has been easier in general and my times seem to have benefited from the 10 days at a mile high altitude.

I have been doing a good job of alternating the quality runs with recovery runs. I think this has had a huge impact on how successful these six runs have been. I don’t feel exhausted at all despite doing a quality run this morning. The other positive aspect has been the cool weather, but I don’t think that has too much to do with things as I ran a couple of days in the heat.

I have been pretty happy with myself and pushing the pace at several times during these runs. The tempo run that I did as part of my two-a-day workout felt really good at the speed I did the first two miles (sub 8 min miles). I also got in a 440 workout that went pretty well. I didn’t really push the speed for that run, but I felt like it went well. I was tired, but not deathly so. Today’s run to Mt. Tabor also had some good fast pace elements. I pushed the first two miles a bit and did solid 8:45 min miles. The two miles of climbing were quite a bit slower, but I was able to pick up the pace for the final portions.

One of the weird things about this string of good runs is that I am doing it with a slight strain to my left upper hamstring. It could also be a gluteus strain, but hamstring specific stretches that I have been doing really seem to pull at the affected area. The strain seems to really only be an issue at the start of my runs, say the first two miles. Then the pain seems to fade away. I could feel myself holding back on a smooth flow, sort of a choppy pace. I think at one point I even was ding some injury to my other side. I have been working on the area with stretching and Arnica gel. It seems to have been working as today I had no pain at all.

Cold wet volcano run

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

My running partner (I should say partners as her dog, a strapping Irish Setter always comes too) and I took a slow recovery type hill run up to the top of Mt. Tabor and back. The goal was to keep the entire run under our recovery ceiling of 70% max ( my HR at 143 and hers a bit higher at 147). We did pretty good except for the climbing, but even then my HR only maxed at 151. The last two miles of cool down were all under as we plodded back. The rains came right as we got back to my house, all in all a lot calmer weather-wise than was predicted, though I was looking forward to lightning strikes.

I have to say I am liking the G2 as a recovery drink. I think I’ll like the orange mix better than the fruit punch. I really wish they made it without any coloring, the fruit punch is really deep red, it looks like red ink. But I really like the low calories and sugar. I also like that the powders mix really quickly and thoroughly. I have been mixing with more water than they suggest, goes perfectly in my big plastic ice tea tumblers.

Apparently there has been some problem with G2 stock levels. The only flavors I have seen in the powders has been fp and  grape. Even online. The only flavor Fred Meyers has is the fp.

Two quality runs in a row

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

I sort of went off my regimen of hard – easy – hard – easy runs today by doing a second hard quality run in a row. Yesterday my running partner and I ran up to Mt. Tabor to do some hill repeats. We started with a mile warm up that ended up including too much hill work to be a good warm up. Once we finally got to our repeat area we started our 1/4 mile runs. We did eight of them between 2:05 and 2:20 with the slower ones due to doggie troubles. By the time we got to the last one I was feeling pretty pooped  and my 2 mile cool down took forever. But a great workout.

Today I started out for six easy recovery miles. I decided to add on a couple of miles by running down to the Eastmoreland golf course. On the loop back I decided to add a couple of blocks to the loop (mile 4) and ended up going east for 30 blocks when I hooked up with the Springwater corridor (mile 6) and returned to the reed neighborhood. At the end of the corridor (mile 8) I ran through the Moreland Park (where I found a water fountain) and over the bridge to the Reed neighborhood (mile 10). At Reed I found another fountain (mile 12) and started to curse myself for not bringing water on this short run I had planned. I did have Sharkies which helped a lot. I headed home and ended up going 13.75 miles all together at 2:31. Super slow run and a burner for sure. I feel pretty depleted but I have been drinking a lot and eating well. Which would have been great if I hadn’t taken advantage of a beautiful day and worked in the yard. I am pretty tired. But I am going to watch a movie (Human Centipede) and  go to bed early tonight. I have a show tomorrow, but I may run after, we’ll see. That will definitely be a recovery run!