Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ughhh

Went for an 11 mile run with Nick on the Sandrat Trails. Heel hurt in my Inov8's, had tummy problems. Cut it short. Ran 3 miles, walked 3. Bah humbug. The end.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just a Marathon

For several days, the forecast predicted rain and thunderstorms all day Saturday. I was nervous getting up this morning, thinking of the 30 miles I wanted to run today. Last Saturday was challenging due to the mud, but I managed a very slow 20 miles. I was thrilled when I woke to find the forecast had changed completely, leaving the chance of rain at 10%. I was still worried the trails might be muddy, but we were pleasantly surprised to find them dry and totally runnable.

I tripped several times at the beginning of the run, which is usually an indicator that I'm going too fast. So I paid heed and fell to the back of the group. Well it turned out I was just at the back of THIS group and soon another group of folks caught up, including Debbie Webster, Julie Toft and Mr. Gary "Too Many First Names" Henry. Before I knew it I went from being at the back of the group to leading the group. My attempts to slack were being thwarted!

I preferred to not lead, because Nick and I planned to run 30, while the rest of the group was running 20 or less. I needed to reserve my energy for the extra 10 miles and didn't want to hold anyone back in the process. My attempts to relinquish my leading throne were not successful. The rest of the group claimed to like my pace so I continued on until we reached Land's End (a big open area where the blue and white trails intersect). Coleen commented a few times that I was really haulin' ass, but I reminded her she had run 30 miles the day before, which skewed her speed opinion.

Once we reached Land's End, Coleen turned back to do 10 and the rest of us continued on. Did I MENTION Coleen gave me some totally kick butt leopard print
running sleeves?! Because she did. Now that I've gotten you all sidetracked I'll get back to running. We were doing it. Running, you perverts!

We kept on at a good pace until we reached about 11 miles or so. The rest of the group broke off to finish their 20 mile run, leaving Nick and I to our own devices. I decided to slow down a bit at this point to avoid burning out. Plus, it was a gorgeous day...no need to speed through, ignoring the wonderful scenery. It was 60ish degrees and overcast. The air felt amazing on my skin. The grass was growing. The frogs were croaking. I just wanted to go, regardless of speed, and see everything this spring-infected trail had to offer. (Spring is one of the few kinds of good infections. Laughter's a good one too!)

The springy bliss eventually faded. I was becoming fatigued and the sun started peeking out of the clouds, making me regret wearing a long sleeved shirt. On our way back to Land's End, Nick asked if I wanted to go back on the white trail and call it a day. This would be a compromise, giving us about 26 miles instead of 30. I agreed to his proposal. It would just be a marathon but still my longest training run.

Now when I say my bliss was gone, I don't mean I was unhappy. In fact, I was in a state of contented exhaustion. I was still happy to be on the trail on this beautiful day, but my legs required some convincing to keep up this running stuff. We were taking more walk breaks and it was getting harder to end them. I began to wonder how I've ever completed an ultra. The simple answer is, aid stations and volunteers. You need stuff (you can only carry so much), and you need encouragement (someone who isn't as tired as you).

Once we finally reached the last section of trail, I decided to pick up the pace. I thought Nick would try to pass me, so I kept running faster and faster until I was full out sprinting. He didn't pass me. And I said, "In your face!" Actually, I don't think I said that, but I'm thinking it right now.

After the run, the day continued to be awesome. We spent most of the afternoon basking in the sun on lovely Mass St (if you've seen me lately, you know I can use quite a lot of basking). So the Laurie votes are in, and they all agree, this Saturday was so far, the best of the year!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Night Run

Throughout the fall and winter our Wednesday night group runs have been at the Sandrat Trails by the river in Lawrence. Because of the trail's proximity to bustling downtown Lawrence, they are also followed by dinner and drinks on Mass St. The equation is simple...RUNNING + FRIENDS + DINNER + DRINKS + MASS ST = PURE AWESOMENESS. Long story short, we all look forward to Wednesday night runs.

Tonight the air was cool - a bit chilly if standing still, but the perfect temperature for running in say...shorts and a long sleeved shirt. Christy, Coleen and I hung back from the group, maintaining a more reasonable pace than Nick and the speed demons. We had a great time chatting and running. I hadn't seen Coleen or Christy in a week or more. It doesn't seem like long for typical friends, but we're ultrarunner friends. We spend long, sometimes grueling hours together running and discussing whatEVER. Summary: I love my running friends.

The run was great, and after, we went to Zen Zero for some tasty tasty Thai food. We had a fabulous time eating, boozing and discussing everything from gloomy Seattle to statistics.

Next on the fun list: 20-30mi at Clinton Lake starting Saturday morning, 7:15am

Wow, that was barely about running at all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You are My Density

When 6:30pm
What Run
Where Sandrat Trails, Lawrence, KS
Why Fun?
How (Far) 6mi

All day I was longing to get outside and run run run, but I needed to work work work. I didn't think I would get out, because Nick was supposed to attend a meeting of nerds. The meeting was canceled, so we decided to go running. By the time we left to go running, my excitement had waned, but I knew I should do it anyway.

I think I kept a pretty constant pace the whole time, but the air was thick and warm. Every once in a while we'd pass through a refreshing pocket of cool air but they were few and far between. When I started whining (internally) about how dense the air was, I reminded myself of how difficult it was to run in the thin thin air of Colorado and decided this was the lesser of two evils. For all you Colorado transplants, I'm not insulting your beautiful state, I just suck at running there.

It was a good run. Not awesome. But glad I did it and happy to have my running partner with me!

P.S. It seems like I'm repeating myself myself a lot today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Renewed Energy

Today's run started off a little rough, like the last two. I was crabby from the start. I was wearing a new running skirt for the the first time, and it was more form fitting than what I typically wear. I felt like my gut looked huge and this made me crabby. What can I say? I'm a girl. As soon as I started running I felt my skirt flapping around and could tell my rear was showing. Well the little shorts underneath were showing. My uncomfortableness and crabiness escalated.

Nick and I started off slow. I was feeling heavy from my lunch of veggie burger and fries. Before long I developed a good case of heart burn. It seemed like a would never get out of my running funk. In addition, the little shorts under my too short skirt were starting to "migrate" so to speak. Not only was this uncomfortable, but I'm sure a good portion of my rear was exposed to view. Fortunately by this point, we were in the woods and there were no runners behind us. After a while I discovered that I could adjust it so it didn't flap around so much. Uncomfortableness managed.

FINALLY, about halfway through the run, my heartburn went away, and I started feeling better all around. I wasn't exactly speedy but I definitely had more energy. The last couple miles felt great. Once we got to the levee I started speeding up. Nick said we should try to catch a couple running ahead of us. Unfortunately the guy sped up quite a bit so we didn't catch him, but we sprinted past the girl about 100 or so yards from the end. It's not about racing people for me. It just helps to have a moving target for motivation to run faster.

Overall I was pretty happy with the run. I'm out of my funk, but I'm hoping for an even better run next time!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Morning Run

Today was another "off" day for running. Don't get me wrong. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed myself thoroughly, but it was muddy and I was sloooooow.

I fell back from the group after about 2.5 miles. The mud and hills were taking a toll on me today, but it didn't discourage me from my goal to run 20. I shuffled along and after a few minutes my sweetie fell back and decided to run with me the rest of the way.

While the thick sticky mud exhausted and frustrated me, I relished in splashing through the puddles of water lying over the less sticky stuff. Nick was entertained when I stopped to splash around in every stream crossing. He said I reminded him of Roxy (his dog).

Towards the end, Nick and I ran across our friend Lisa and her dog Chaz. I struggled to keep up with Lisa, but I was grateful for the renewed challenge. I kept up with her until the last quarter mile or so, then told her and Nick to go on ahead. I was beat and walked most of the way back to the car.

Overall it was a fun morning. I'm definitely pooped now and hoping for a better run next time. Next Saturday I'm trying for 30 which will be my longest training run. Gotta get ready for the Free State 40 miler!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So, I'm officially trying to stay more current on my blog. I'm not sure that statement applies since I've only posted one blog entry. But you get the idea. To restrict my wandering mind, I'll try to differentiate between running and school. What else is there, really? Besides my weird observations. Maybe I'll add that as a category!

Running
Running was going great until approximately yesterday. I ran a 20miler Saturday before last. Wish I had run more than 10 last weekend, but I wasn't feeling toooo bad about it. Yesterday's run was definitely a smack in the face though. I went out for my usual 6 mile Wednesday night run on the Sandrat Trails in Lawrence. I wasn't happy about the cold as I had been getting used to the recent mild temps. As we started our run along the levee, I said, "I wonder when I'm going to reach the point, where I'm happy about coming out here tonight, because I'm not there yet." At this point in the run, I was still cold but assumed I'd get over it soon and be a happy camper.

Well, long story short, I never got there. I DID warm up, but as soon as I did, the feeling was replaced with that burning in the lungs...the kind I usually get after sprinting. Well, we were running at a decent pace but far from sprinting. I couldn't shake this feeling the entire time. Shortly after we entered the trail portion of our run, I fell back. Mary Ann and I were falling behind the main group. She asked me if I was running slow because of her. I ensured her I wasn't. She was getting farther away and waited for me once, but I told her to go on ahead.

Nick and Roxy came back to run with me along the levee, and I was grateful for that. It took my mind of wallowing in self pity over my bad run. Nick reminded me that everyone has days like these. Indeed!

I was glad to be done with the run, because...duuuhhh...it's not about the run! It's about Free State! I thoroughly enjoyed my post run vodka tonics and quesadillas!

School
I'm feeling a lot more comfortable in my second semester of grad school. I'm back in the groove after my 3 year hiatus between undergrad and now. At least the physics concepts come easier. Math is math. I have a test tomorrow in calculus of variations. This will probably be my most challenging course this semester. The class is definitely geared more towards math majors than engineering majors. So the material is presented rather abstractly. And...I have to do proofs sometimes. Ick. I'm hoping for a B in the course. REALLY hoping. C's in grad school are not allowed. So, I'll be studying all afternoon and evening for my test and am hoping to ace it. (Since my homework grade is so bad right now.)

Observations
I don't like littering. I want to find people who litter and punch them.

I don't like the Watchmen. Watching it actually made me angry.

I DO love Nick's petsies, Roxy and Tuk.

I DO love the sunshine.