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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Half Marathon Training in the Heat

I was going to call this post "The Day I almost Killed My Husband" but I have post-run photographic proof that he made it to the bar for lunch and a well earned beer.
He looks pretty happy for a dead guy doesn't he?  That being said my first half marathon training run was not an overwhelming success today.  First we were running somewhere I love to run the Atlanta Beltline and Piedmont Park, but I forgot there  is little to no shade for the entire run.  Also we got out the door way too late. Note to self "that cup of coffee was not worth it."  It was almost 11 AM and the heat index was already over 90 when we started, higher than that when we finally called it at 5.5 miles.  Or as my husband said filling out his DailyMile, " I am just going to say 100 degrees.  Oh yeah, and that my wife tried to kill me today."  I don't think a five and a half mile run on the sun is technically a method of attempted homicide, but who am I to deprive him of his dramatic flair.

It was a tough run.  I think several things, including the weather, conspired against us:  brought no water, there are stops on the route but not enough, I was running too fast for conditions, and no shade.  I should have been about 2 minutes slower than an average run that should have been over 11 min/mile.  I did not get there until the end, when just so he knows, I also thought I was going to die.  I knew I was dehydrated and we were both over heating.  We finally just called it and walked the last 1/4  mile back to the car.  I was planning over 6 to at least 7, except you probably would not be reading this because I would probably just be getting out of the ER. It was a tough run.  Shows how little heat conditioning I have been doing.  My next long run will take place much earlier in the day and on a shadier route.

At least we know how to wrap up our misery in style!  We headed right out to the rooftop bar at Six Feet Under a local eatery.  Fried Green Tomatoes, the ATL skyline backdrop, a Belgian Beer for me, and Amber Ale for the hubby, and a yummy lunch and we were ready to wrap up the last day of hubby's summer vacay.  Back to work for him.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Out of Race Shape

Last Saturday before heading to Savannah and the conference we did the Decatur Dekalb 4 Miler with Atlanta Track Club.  This was our first race since April and I definitely felt it.  Usually ATC has an extensive race schedule with at least one race a month, bat as discussed previously they are making changes.  We also have some additional races we like or that are for really good causes so we usually race pretty regularly.  Don't get me wrong.  We aren't competitive or anything but we are definitely front of the mid pack runners.  I typically place somewhere in the top 6 of my AG in most of the ATC races.  You probably have experienced this phenomenon, even if you aren't "really racing" you are pushing yourself more than if you were out for a regular run around your neighborhood.  I mean people are there.

Typically regular racing also substituted for speed training.  Since during a race I would be pushing the pace shooting for negative splits, etc.  Well I definitely felt the 3 month racing hiatus.  This is not even a very hilly course but I definitely found myself dragging around mile 2.  Of course it was also pouring down rain and the course was slick and my shoes were soaked as well as the rest of me.  After mile 2 I found my rhythm and a second wind and was able to finish strong and feel pretty good afterwards.

I ended up with an average 9 min/mile pace a little slower than my race pace.  I finished 6 in my AG.  Although after April I moved up into the next age group and those ladies are really fast so I suspect I will be finishing further back in the AG pack.  That is fine.  I am really only racing against myself.  It is just that last Saturday I was definitely kicking my own ass.  Oh well guess that means I should do more actual speed training or just let it go.  We have a couple of races coming up, not the least of which is the Diva Half, 5 weeks from today!  I better start doing more long runs, especially in the heat!

Today I am grateful to be back home after spending most of July on the road.  Also happy to be back to the gym, regular running, and healthy eating.

How do you stay in race shape?  Is it a contest against the clock, other runners, or your inner self?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sometimes Times There is Just too Much to Do

So I just back from Savannah and a jam packed conference!  I had hoped, and did try to finish out my streak I only had a few more days.  I have been running everyday since 4/13.  Work at the conference with 16 hour days and tons of presentations and responsibilities coupled with torrential afternoon storms meant running did not happen Monday or Tuesday.  After all of my obligations were met I got to get a run in at Forsyth Park our favorite place to run in Savannah.  We did have a 4 mile race on Saturday I will blog later about how out  of race shape I am.  Today just thought I would confess that I did not complete my streak, but I am moving on from that.  Back at regular training and kicking it up a notch for half marathon that is now 6 weeks away.  Also I will be sharing some photos of Savannah.  Enjoy it is the hostess city!
Golf cart selfie while volunteering at the GAWP fun run Monday.  I could not run but we started at 5:30 AM managing the race for other attendees
Dung at Forsyth Park.  He loves Spanish moss

Dung in front of an "English Pub with phone booth Downtown

View from our hotel room before we left today


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Random Wacky Wednesday

I had been having issues with a tight left hip since I got back from California.  I think it has to do with how uncomfortable flights are and how long it is.  I went to my chiropractor after we got back but Dr. Peter was out of town.  Dr. Melinda was not able to actually correct my hip; she said it was too tight.  Today Dr. Peter was back.  He took all of a few minutes to assess that the femoral head of my hip was turned out.  He adjusted it in like two minutes and the tightness was gone.  That is good because I have a race on Saturday.

I asked him how it happened.  He thinks I am not stretching my hamstring enough.  He gave me some new stretches.  I am going to try them out.  He said I will be race ready on Saturday.  Saturday is the Decatur Dekalb 4 miler.  I am kind of excited.  We have not had a race in months.  Usually we race at least once a week.  It is not that I am that competitive, but I like the energy of racing and it makes me push myself a little more.  So we shall see.

Today I made zucchini chips for dinner they were delicious.  I will need to do that again.  They are really simple.  I made this recipe but substituted cornflakes for bread crumbs.  Hubby loved them.  I have been trying new veggie recipes.  It has been pretty successful.  I love cooking so I love experimenting.

Here is a picture from our trip to California.  These are many of our nieces and nephews at Lake Tahoe after the wedding.  I was great to see everyone.  They are growing so fast.  

These are some random happenings from my week so far.  How is your week going?  Today I am grateful that I my hip is not tight.  Also I got an new computer and it is easier to use than my tablet.  So it makes it easier to do my blog and read other blogs!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I am Back..In town and on track

I have again been MIA.  This time it was for a happy reason.  I was getting things handled at work so we could go to California and celebrate our cousin Thao's wedding.  It was a family wedding in our other cousin Phuong's back yard.  Never believe your family when they say "oh it is a simple back yard wedding."  We were working from the minute we stepped off the airplane.  It was so worth it to see her happy, and it was a beautiful wedding that reflected her down to earth personality.  I will post some photo's later when they have them.  We can play my favorite game "Pick out the white girl!"  I am pretty easy to spot in our family photos.

Not only were we in California, we were in the epicenter of food in the United States.  That happens to be anywhere my husband's family is gathered.  So maintaining our regular diet was difficult to say the least.  At least we were working so hard we burned off most of the calories.  On Thursday before the wedding my new Garmin FR15 clocked 15,000 steps.  On the positive side, though they were short, we did gt a run in everyday.  I really miss the Sacramento weather, 50's in the morning and evening, no humidity 90's during the day.  I kept my streak promise alive.  I wish we had more downtime to visit with family of course to take advantage of the weather and flat terrain of Sacramento for a long run. Next time!  We had other priorities.

I did manage to hit my regular fitness schedule hard when I got back.  Added back in more fruits and veggies.  Cooked smaller healthier meals, got back to the gym for strength training and spent the rest of the week adjusting to living in the hot and humid south.  Today's five miler was the longest run in a couple of weeks.  Building back up. It is surprising how quickly you can forget how to run in the humidity!

I have to get back on the wagon just in time to leave next Saturday after our four mile race to head to Savannah and the Annual Conference for the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.  I am going to try and keep up my healthy habits, but I have a lot of responsibilities and long days.  For some reason I agreed to make 4 presentations!  What was I thinking?  Hubby is going  with me so I am also going to find some down time to enjoy a city we love.  Of course there will be running.  I have to.  I think I have a half in less than 2 months.  I need to get on the stick!!  Hope you have been getting your training in.  I read about all my friends experiences with the Peachtree.  Can't believe we missed near perfect race conditions.  Oh well next year!

I am grateful we could be there for our family and help with Thao's wedding.  It was great to see everyone.  We don't see each other enough.